26 CASES IN COURT

Kalro fights off grabbers of research land

Parcel in Mtwapa was subdivided and given to private developers.

In Summary
  • Kireger said the land touches the oceanfront and Kalro has possessed it since 1923.
  • He said they have about 26 land cases in court, with 400 acres still under threat from grabbers.
KALRO director general Eliud Kireger
INSPECTION: KALRO director general Eliud Kireger
Image: COURTESY

The Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation is battling grabbing of its land across the country.

Kalro director general Eliud Kireger said a case in point is land in Mtwapa in Kilifi. He said the land touches the ocean front and Kalro has possessed it since 1923.

“The Mtwapa land was being used for industrial crops research, an insectary, library and a guest house for visiting scientists,” he said.

 

He spoke during a visit to inspect the land.

The Commissioner of Lands subdivided the parcel into five plots and gave them out. "On learning about the allocation of land meant for research, Kalro (then Kari) wrote to the EACC and the Land Registrar and the titles were revoked on November 26, 2010,” Kireger said.  

However, one of parties, Baharini Developments Ltd, filed a suit in 2011.

“In suit papers, the plaintiff is seeking court orders to affirm their ownership of the Mtwapa beach plots. The developer has since obtained temporary injunctions barring any interference with the land until the matter is heard and determined. The matter is ongoing in court,” he said.

Kalro moved to court on November 23 last year when the matter came up for hearing. However, the hearing did not proceed as the Environment and Land Court noted that directions had not been given to consolidate the matter with another case filed in 2013.

Kireger said in 2019, Kalro realised that illegal occupants had moved into the remaining parcels and filed another petition.

The agency sued four respondents for invading and trespassing on Kalro Mtwapa land parcels. The court granted interim orders barring the respondents from further trespassing Kalro’s parcels pending the hearing and determination of the case.

 

A recent visit by Kalro's top management led by the director general found that developments were still being undertaken on the land despite court orders.

Early last year, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission repossessed public properties that had been encroached on including 2, 500 acres that belonged to KALRO Naivasha.

According to EACC records, the land was surrendered by a former civil servant. Kireger said they have about 26 land cases in court, with 400 acres still under threat from grabbers.

Edited by Henry Makori