KISUMU, Kenya, Oct 18 – The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has reverted the grabbed Kibuye open air market land to the Kisumu County Government.
The Commission Chief Executive Officer Twalib Mbarak said the land was grabbed and the grabber was demanding Sh7 billion from the county so as to release it to them.
Mbarak said that Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o early this year approached the Commission to help his administration to recover the market land.
“When we got this information, we did our background research and actually realized that this market land had been grabbed,” he said.
He said they kicked off a process to authenticate the claim by the county government.
Mbarak said they retrieved documents from the Ministry of lands and survey department and had a few people record a statement with them.
Immediately, he said, they started a legal process, while armed with the right relevant documents.
The CEO said the process revealed that Kibuye market is a public land and not a private land as earlier claimed by an individual.
While handing over the title deed to Governor Nyong’o at the market on Wednesday, Mbarak announced that the commission has in the past reverted other public utilities, which had been grabbed.
“Recently we brought back Taifa Park, valued at Sh500 million to the county government after it was grabbed by a few individuals,” he said.
He further noted that at the moment they are investigating land at the water intake in Lake Victoria, which has been grabbed and few individuals keeping titles.
“We are going to file a case, civil suit, to recover that piece of land. There are also county government houses, which have been grabbed,” he said.
Governor Nyong’o hailed the Commission for coming to the rescue of the county government.
“This step taken by the Commission is a pointer that corruption can be defeated,” he said.
Nyong’o said his government can now go ahead with plans to continue modernizing the market.
“Since we now have the title, we will do things boldly, we must make sure that this market is built to standard to give every trader a conducive environment to carry on with their trade,” he said.
He warned land grabbers that their days are numbered while announcing that such matters are now with the EACC, which is mandated to determine the rightful owner.
Nyong’o said land grabbing and irregular allocations have negatively affected the growth of the city.
“We need land to help us create land banks for investments,” he said.
The most affected in the land grab crisis, he said, include land spaces that were marked for pathways, parking spaces, sewer lines, drainage systems, playgrounds, health facilities and affordable housing.