, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 14 – The dispute between the Nairobi County Government and the Department of Defence (DoD) over the controversial ownership of 5,000 acres of land in Kayole came to the fore during the Land Summit at State House on Monday.
Governor Evans Kidero demanded to know what action the Ministry of Lands and the National Land Commission were taking to ensure that the land reverts back to the county.
- Governor Evans Kidero demanded to know what action the Ministry of Lands and the National Land Commission were taking to ensure that the land reverts back to the county.
- A fired up Kidero stated that the piece of land has been fenced by DoD, and even the police were intimidated since it was under heavy guard.
- “At certain times, government forces are used and obviously they intimidate with guns. The best example is land which is owned by the County Government,” he said.
A fired up Kidero stated that the piece of land has been fenced by DoD, and even the police were intimidated since it was under heavy guard.
“At certain times, government forces are used and obviously they intimidate with guns. The best example is land which is owned by the County Government,” he said.
“The County Government bought 5,000 acres of land from Kayole Estate back in 1971. In the nineties, the army invaded it and took 3,000 acres without due recourse to any compensation and four weeks ago, they blocked the remaining 2,000 acres that passed through the road,” he explained.
He underscored the need for a solution as the “people of Mihango need a solution because their road is blocked an nobody dares come to it because you will be faced with tanks.”
“The road from Mihango, from the Eastern By Pass which has been joining Kangundo road through Matopeni is blocked and nobody dares challenge them because they have got guns, tanks and aircraft. We went to the police and they said no, they cannot handle that. The government will not come to court, they will not put a defence.”
While cautioning Kidero to look at the circumstances behind the acquisition, Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi however stated that no organisation within the country was above the law.
“It does not matter who commits this offence, but we must look at the context of the background behind which the land was acquired. In law, the government can compulsorily acquire land for health purposes, for security and for all other good reasons,” he said. “However, according to the law which is very clear, it does not matter who you are. The National Land Commission must be able to look at the circumstances and take action. We shall have zero tolerance to this grabbing mania.”
The county and the Kenya Defence Forces both lay claim to the land.
NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri stated that stern action will be taken against any one grabbing public land.
“We Kenyans have in our blood an allergy to empty space. Whenever we see it , our body twitches and we have to fill it up in one way or another. It does not matter who is involved. The law does not categorise and say that a politician is immune, the county government is immune or even the army is immune. The law applies evenly across the board,” he said.
He stressed that anyone who grabs any public land will not be spared but will be subjected to the law.
“We are all packaged the constitution and we said that anybody in Kenya who grabs land will be subjected to the law. So it is very simple, just bring the matter to us, there are no powerful institutions under the constitution, they are all Kenyans, they are all institutions that are subject to the law,” he said.
“As we are moving towards the General Elections, there is an indication that as NLC we should go slow in this land issue but you see, that is not possible. Whether there are elections or not, the Commission will continue to do its job because land issues are not subject to political influence.”
Last week, Kidero petitioned the Senate’s assistance in recovering the land.
Appearing before the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee on Thursday, Kidero urged Senators to effect a law outlining the procedure for amicable and fast resolution of disputes between National and County governments to avoid a lengthy and costly lawsuit.
He stated that inter-ministerial talks ordered by the President and that were to be led by the Attorney General and Treasury Cabinet Secretary, had also failed to kick off.