Kiambu county will repossess over 200 parcels of public utility land that had been illegally acquired by private developers.
Governor William Kabogo said his government jointly with the National Land Commission is in the process of establishing how individuals came to own the land meant for dump sites, public toilets, provincial administration offices, hospitals, schools and cemeteries among others.
“I am warning anyone sitting on a public utility not to waste their money constructing buildings of any nature on it because they will lose that investment,” Kabogo said and added that Kiambu is one of the counties most affected by land grabbing.
He was speaking during NLC’s first public hearing aimed at recovering grabbed public land at the Thika town hall. The session was attended by NLC chairman Mohamed Swazuri and Juja MP Francis Munyua among others.
The governor also faulted commercial banks for funding projects that are being constructed on public land without consulting with the county government to establish the ownership of the plots.
“The banks should liaise with the county government before agreeing to finance such projects,” he said and warned private developers that the county government shall not hesitate to pull down structures built on public land.
Swazuri said the commission will assess documents and hold meetings with land owners before coming up with its verdict.
“We are not here to appease, hurt or demonize anyone. The law requires that public land be used for its intended purpose only. Many have gone to court to stop these reviews but public interest overrides individual interests,” the NLC chairman said.
Munyua said a former powerful chief allegedly grabbed public land meant for a road reserve, the Juja police station, a polytechnic and market among others and sold some of it to unsuspecting buyers.
Swazuri later toured Juja and ordered all persons occupying public land in the area to vacate and demolish existing structures in the next three months to allow for construction of public utilities in the town.