- The 432 acre piece of land was acquired in the year 2000 at Mikinduni area in Mpeketoni Lamu west and was expected to house a campus for the benefit of Lamu students and those from neighboring counties.
Lamu leaders and residents are demanding the revocation of a parcel of land issued to the government for the establishment of the Egerton University, Lamu research and satellite campus.
The 432-acre piece of land was acquired in the year 2000 at the Mikinduni area in Mpeketoni Lamu West and was expected to house a campus for the benefit of Lamu students and those from neighbouring counties.
However, 23 years down the line, the chances of the institution ever coming up are becoming bleaker by the day with leaders now pushing to have the land revoked and handed back to the county government for management.
The leaders and residents want the land handed back to the county government and used to resettle squatters and other genuine cases of landlessness in the region.
The now bushy piece of land has become home to numerous wild animals that now pose a threat to the lives of residents in the area.
Mkunumbi ward MCA who doubles up as the county assembly deputy speaker Paul Kimani said the matter has since been brought to the attention of Lands Cabinet Secretary Zachary Mwangi.
The MCA said it’s heavily suspected that the land has actually been grabbed by private individuals under the guise of it belonging to the university, possible reason why it remains undeveloped for a whole 23 years.
“Our view is that the land is revoked and put to other good use which in this case is the resettlement of squatters. 23 years is quite a long time for such a good land to just lie idle. We suspect it has been grabbed and that’s why it has not been developed. The CS is aware," Mwangi said.
He explained that the grabbing theory is a very high possibility as it could mean the concerned individuals are finding it hard to move in and start developing it.
“We want the ministry to investigate and establish if it still belongs to the institution. If yes, then we urge them to move and establish the university. If not, let them revoke the land and give it back to the county. We have many squatters who need a place to call home,” he said.
In December 2019, hundreds of squatters who had encroached on the land were forcefully evicted allegedly to pave way for construction works of the university which were to kick off in 2020.
More than 100 temporary structures were destroyed during the eviction and the squatters chased off the property.
Acting county commissioner Charles Kitheka called on the leaders and residents to remain calm as the Lands ministry is already on the matter.
“We informed the minister when he visited Lamu recently. The matter is already under investigation as we speak," Kitheka said.