The construction of a building worth Sh348 million for Homa Bay MCAs was abruptly stopped due to a feud over land.
A planned Sh348 million building for Homa Bay MCAs was abruptly stopped due to a feud over land.
The national government claimed ownership of the land and accused the county assembly of taking it unprocedurally.
Construction of offices for MCAs had begun after the county assembly leadership approved it and did groundbreaking. The building was to be completed in 2021.
MCAs would use the building and avoid travelling to their ward offices to transact house business.
Already Sh90 million had been set aside for the building in the financial year 2018-19. The assembly also said it will also source funds from 2019-20 and 2020-21 financial years.
Acting speaker Evance Marieba, clerk Daniel Kaudo and majority leader Walter Muok were present during the groundbreaking ceremony which was done last month.
However, on Wednesday, the construction was stopped after the national government reclaimed the three-quarter of an acre.
Through county commissioner Herman Shambi, the national government argued that county assembly illegally acquired the land.
Shambi ordered the construction of the building to be suspended immediately, noting that the land was recreational facility. The land had benches for relaxing and trees.
“The land was used as a park. The fact that it remained fallow for long doesn’t mean it’s not a national government land,” Shambi said.
He accused the county assembly of using dubious method to acquire the land.
Presently, the land is abandoned and there are shrubs growing in it.
Shanmbi said they will not allow anyone to claim the piece of land.
“ The county assembly should not claim ownership of the land since they don’t even have title deed.The government is not ready to engage in unlawful business,” he said.
The county assembly leadership yesterday dismissed claims by Shambi, saying that they did not acquire the land illegally.
Muok argued they got the land procedurally from the Homa Bay government through the department of lands.
According to Muok, the land in contention was donated to the assembly by the executive.
He told the county commissioner to produce evidence that the land does not belong to Homa Bay government.
Muok said they will continue with the construction.
“I think the land is part of the properties that were transferred to county by Transitional Authority. The commissioner shouldn’t stop the work verbally without written document,” Muok said.
The majority leader said they are writing to the National Land Commission to intervene.
“We need guidance on the right thing to do,” he said.