- Some of those being investigated are churches that have built their churches in the said parcels of land.
- Nyeri Deputy Governor Kinaniri said grabbing of land has affected some of the county's infrastructural development projects.
More than 60 parcels of national and county government land worth more Sh1 billion in Nyeri town alone are in the hands of grabbers.
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Central regional manager Abraham Kemboi said Monday that the agency is investigating the parcels with a view of reverting them back to government.
Some 30 cases relating to the said parcels of lands have been filed in Nyeri’s lands court, he said.
Kemboi said most of the land is grabbed from what was reserved for government houses.
The lands lie in areas where land has high value such as Ring Road estate and some lands neighbouring senior government officials such as the former provincial commissioner and district commissioner residences.
Some of those being investigated are churches that have built their churches in the said parcels of land, he said.
“We are interested in recovering those parcels of land. If you like, the conservative value of what we are trying to recover is well over a billion shillings,” he said.
The grabbers, Kembo said, are also targeting land in major towns. He cited Nanyuki where grabbers have even attempted to evict a police station.
A prison facility and a county commissioner’s residence have also been grabbed in the town in Laikipia county.
Other towns where government houses have been lost include Nyahururu town in Laikipia county, Kerugoya town in Kirinyaga and in Murang’a town in Murang’a county.
The EACC official said he could not immediately give the number of acreage as most of the parcels are government houses and their sizes vary from one house to another.
The anti-corruption agency, he said, is at advanced stages of recovering those parcels of land.
Kemboi also put on notice all those who are occupying the said lands to surrender the title deeds before the law catches up with them.
“I want to request all those Kenyans within the Central region jurisdiction who have taken away government land or houses, please surrender those title (deeds) so that the land is reverted back for government use,” he said.
Nyeri Deputy Governor David Kinaniri said grabbing of land has affected some of the county government’s infrastructural development projects.
He said that is why the county has not been able to build the official residences for the governor, his deputy and the speaker as the lands that should have been used for that purpose have been grabbed.
“We are working closely with EACC to ensure that all those pieces of land are reverted back to the county and that will be done,” Kinaniri said.
He said a 100-acre piece of the county government land that had been grabbed in Naromoru has already been recovered.
They spoke during a meeting between the county and the EACC officials meant to evaluate the risk assessment recommendations done by the commission in 2015 and submitted to the county for implementation.
The deputy director (corruption prevention at the EACC) Neema Mkorori said the agency will provide a platform to address any challenges that may arise in the implementation of the recommendations.
The recommendations were meant to help prevent corruption in various departments of the county.
The reform recommendations were made in an EACC report following an examination into the systems and methods of work in the county to identify and seal loopholes that allow corruption.
(edited by Amol Awuor)