NAIROBI, Kenya, July 30 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has asked the National Land Commission (NLC) to revoke the allocation of a dumpsite land in Mombasa to a private developer.
According to a dispatch from the State House Press Office sent to newsrooms on Monday, President Kenyatta said the approximately 80-acre Kibarani dumpsite which is under reclamation will be decommissioned for recreational facilities in a bid to support the regeneration of Mombasa city and boost tourism.
His directive came even as the National Assembly Committee on Environment and Natural Resources led by Maara lawmaker Kareke Mbiuki ordered the immediate suspension of the reclamation of the riparian land over corruption allegations.
Mombasa County had announced plans to temporarily move the city’s dumpsite to Mwakirunge after it emerged the location of the dumpsite in Kibarani was threatening aquatic life with solid waste finding its way to the ocean.
The Kenya Aviation Authority (KCAA) had earlier in the month objected the location of the dumpsite in Mwakirunge on grounds it would interfere with navigation aids guiding planes approaching the Moi International Airport in Mombasa.
KCAA had recommended that the dumpsite be at least 13 kilometers away from the flight path forcing Mombasa County to reconsider its decision.
Deputy Governor William Kingi said the government will seek an alternative site, preferably a quarry.
Earlier on Monday, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho held a meeting with Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary Keriako Tobiko, and Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala to iron out the controversy surrounding the Kibarani piece of land along the Makupa causeway.
“Part of the discussion we had today is that we will take back all grabbed land back to the public. So, be a good man or woman, whoever you are, if you are holding a title for Kibarani, find you way to the NLC or any national government office hand it back, because you will do nothing on that parcel of land,” said Joho.
On his part, Balala who had served as city mayor before joining politics in 2007 maintained that land will be reverted back to the county.
“Before I even became mayor of Mombasa over 20 years ago Kibarani had been grabbed. We are now going to work with Mombasa government to reclaim it,” he said.
“We shall be meeting on September 14 with Joho, we will bring the Ministry of Land and the NLC to work for the interest of the people of Mombasa,” he added.
“Kibarani dumpsite has to be decommissioned and decommissioned very fast,” said Tobiko while echoing Balala’s remarks.
The National Assembly Committee on Environment and Natural Resources is probing circumstances under which a private developer acquired the land where Kibarani dumpsite was located.
The Kareke Mbiuki-led committee directed Mombasa Cement, proprietors of two companies that had put up transit and container storage facilities on the land to appear before it on August 9.
The Committee also wants the NLC to answer quarries on status of that land.
Also to be queried by the committee is the National Environment Management Authority and Kenya Port Authority.
The committee further asked the Director of Public Prosecution to also investigate the matter and have those found culpable prosecuted.