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Land transactions in Kirinyaga put on hold

30 July 2013, 15:10 James Kabotia

Kirinyaga governor Joseph Ndathi has formed an ad-hock committee of ten people to investigate illegal land dealings in Kirinyaga County.

The committee has been formed following illegal land deals that have deprived the devolved government of space for expansion of towns in the county.

It is expected to look into how people whose land was taken over by local authorities continued holding the title deeds.

Scores of farmers evacuated to give room for the expansion of urban centers were compensated in 1970s.

They were allocated alternative parcels of land in Mwea plains but they colluded with corrupt land officers and Ministry of Local Government employees and failed to surrender their original land documents.

Those compensated are still occupying their original lands which they are currently subdividing and selling for a song.

Efforts by the devolved government to repossess the lands meant for the development of towns has been met with resistance as the occupants are seeking court orders claiming ownership.

Stopped all land transactions in the county

The governor confirmed that he has constituted the committee adding that he had even stopped all land transactions in the county until the team completes its work.

“The team is already in place and we are expecting it to do a good job,” he said.

The governor warned that any officer found allocating plots or transacting any land business within Kerugoya, Kutus, Kianyaga and Kagio areas would be sent home.

Ndathi said although it was an uphill task, the devolved government must deliver on its promises.

He said the committee was supposed to carry out thorough investigations and give comprehensive recommendations on the way forward.

Ndathi said corruption involving lands in the area is rampant and the vice should be stamped out.

He said there was no space to expand towns because lands set aside for the purpose has been corruptly obtained.

“This county is sinking in land graft and it is proving difficult to initiate development,” he said.

Ndathi said his government was determined to weed out corrupt officials and get back the grabbed lands.

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