MPs threaten to expose land grabbers
The parliamentary committee on Local Authorities has threatened to compile a list of shame of government officials and politicians involved in grabbing councils' land across the country. They vowed to ensure that all the land, which has been grabbed and sold to private developers, is repossessed. Already investigations into the grabbing and sale of a public cemetery at Mtangani area in Malindi county, have started.
Committee acting chairman Benjamin Langat yesterday led four other MPs to the Christian cemetery where they found buildings under construction. The more than 12 acres of cemetery land was part of a 17 acres donated by a British couple Cynthia Bellhouse and Stewart Bellhouse more than 50 years ago. They gave the land for the cemetery and a church on May 25, 1958. Ms Bellhouse was the first to be buried at the cemetery. “We came to Malindi after the local municipal council raised issues over peace of cemetery land that was allocated to a private developer in dubiously,’’ said Langat, adding that, “We shall go round all the councils to investigate all cases and claim any land sold illegally.’’
He said they will ask Lands minister James Orengo and PS Dorothy Angote to visit the disputed cemetery land and investigate how the developer acquired the land. “Corrupt land deals in councils will not be tolerated anymore. The days of those who grabbed or sold council land are numbered as we intend to reposses and demolish any structures built on them,’’ said Langat.
The Malindi cemetery land is full after the bigger part of it was grabbed forcing the council to seek an alternative site at Maweni area. A local hotelier Godfrey Karume said the local people are forced to bury their loved ones within their residential areas or take them to Mombasa for lack of a cemetery with the municipal council. Other Parliamentary committee members present during the tour were Peter Mwathi, Poullyns Ochieng, Joseph Gitari and Charles Nyamai