Sonko says controversial Ruaraka land is public property

July 18, 2018 4:28 pm
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The Governor said that a clique of racketeers in previous county administrations whom he said have since been suspended engaged in dubious deals to defraud the county on the said land. Photo/FILE.

, Nairobi, Kenya Jul 18 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has told the Senate that the controversial land where Drive Inn Primary and Ruaraka Secondary school sit is public property.

While appearing before the Senate County Public Accounts Investment Committee over the Ruaraka land saga, Sonko stated that according to documents in possession of City Hall, the 13.5-acre piece of land belongs to the county.

Sonko told the Moses Kajwang (Homa Bay) led committee that documents dating back in 1982 confirm that the land is part of assets of the county hence the two schools were built after part of it was surrendered by the government to facilitate their construction.

The Governor said that a clique of racketeers in previous county administrations whom he said have since been suspended engaged in dubious deals to defraud the county on the said land.

“Since coming to office, I have suspended rogue land officials who participated in fishy transactions especially on the matter of Ruaraka land,” he said.

He revealed that the exitance of cartels within his administration had proved to be a challenged but gave assurances that he was committed towards ensuring that the vice is eliminated.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is investigating ownership of the land, and the payments of more than Sh1.5 billion to individuals in approvals by the National Lands Commission, the Education and Lands Ministries.

The County’s Land Executive Charles Kerich attributed the controversy surrounding the land to a deep-rooted network of cartels within City Hall that were out to serve their own selfish interest.

“We get numerous complaints regarding land related issues but every day we do strive to ensure that we serve the people of Nairobi in best and just way as possible,” he said.

Sonko’s revelation sharply contradicts those given by other stakeholders like those of the Lands Ministry and the National Lands Commission who claim that the land is private, and that due diligence was followed in initiating payments to businessman Francis Mburu.

When she appeared before the same committee in the past, Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney disclosed that the two schools were sitting on private thus they risked being evicted.

“I have no knowledge as to how Ruaraka High School and Drive-inn Primary got to acquire the parcel of land they sit on,” she said.

She noted that allotment letter issued to the school 34 years ago was irregular and that the claims made by the two schools were insincere.

According to Karoney then, Hueland and Affrison were the legal and rightful owners of the 96-acre piece of land.
The two companies are owned by businessman Mburu who has since been paid Sh1.5 billion with a remainder balance of Sh1.7 billion still not cleared.

The management of the two schools while also submitting their side of the story to the same committee claimed that they will not be easily evicted from the land.

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