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Surveyors raise alarm over land grab impunity

The NYS was deployed on Wednesday to pull down a wall at Langata Road Primary School. Photo/CAPITAL FM

The NYS was deployed on Wednesday to pull down a wall at Langata Road Primary School. Photo/MIKE KARIUKI

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – The Institution of Surveyors of Kenya has condemned the widespread grabbing of public land in the country especially land belonging to public institutions.

The institution has specifically pointed out the recent cases in Lang’ata Road Primary School, State House land across the country and Kenyatta University.

The institution’s chairman Paul Wambua on Wednesday said the perpetrators are carrying on with the vice at high level of impunity that poses a great risk to the gains of the ongoing land reforms in the country.

“We have learned with a lot of disappointment the grabbing of land for Lang’ata Road Primary School play ground, Our Lady of Mercy Girls Secondary School, Kenyatta University, State House land located in various parts of Kenya among others,” he stated.

Wambua urged all public institutions to work closely with government agencies and professional bodies in recovering their grabbed land.

He also called on land and environment court to expeditiously deal with cases related to land.

“Majority of the land cases take a long time to conclude. This has forced the aggrieved parties to take matters into their own hands leading to embarrassing incidents like the one that happened at Lang’ata Road Primary School,” he regretted.

“We urge the aggrieved parties to always exhaust all the available legal options in seeking redress for the perceived injustice.”

He further urged the relevant state agencies particularly Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development and the National Land Commission to move with speed and recover all the grabbed public land.

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This comes a day after President Uhuru Kenyatta warned that the government will not tolerate any public officer or institution that is not performing.

READ: Uhuru blasts officials over teargas assault on pupils

He stated that senior Government officials will be held accountable of their actions while citing the recent incidence where pupils of Langata Road Primary school were tear-gassed.

He said while action will be taken against the police who tear-gassed protesting pupils, Ministry of Land officials and those of the National Land Commission will also not be spared.

“We will begin to take action against government officials who fail in their mandates,” President Kenyatta said as he regretted the presence of pupils in the demonstrations.

“How could he (the head teacher) allow young children under his care to behave the way they did? Even when we want to protest, we must do it in a civilized manner and not involve children.”

The Head of State emphasised that government officials must take their duties seriously.

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