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December 11, 2018

Airports agency fights to recover 11,000 acres from JKIA grabbers

Sarun Lenyong tries to fi x a roof in Utawala after the Kenya Airports Authority demolished houses of about 600 squaters who allegedly encroached on JKIA land/ JACK OWUOR
Sarun Lenyong tries to fi x a roof in Utawala after the Kenya Airports Authority demolished houses of about 600 squaters who allegedly encroached on JKIA land/ JACK OWUOR

The Kenya Airport Authority is fighting to recover land grabbed by private developers.

The authority has lost 11,551 acres JKIA land with some of the parcels being on flight paths.

Yesterday, KAA’s planning and research manager Rashid Abdullahi said grabbers invaded their land and they must be kicked out. “Since allocation of that land, there has been several allocations that were made after the authority had been issued with the title deed,” Abdullahi said.

KAA acting engineering services general manager Fred Odao attended a hearing that was presided over by NLC acting chairperson Abigael Mukolwe.

Commissioners Ema Njogu, Rose Musyoka and Samuel Tororei were present.

Abdullahi said the allocations were made “on top of their existing title” and they are illegal. In total, 118 parcels are under probe.

KAA provides critical services such as check in guidelines, passport control, immigration, visas and security regulations. It has a presence at JKIA, Kisumu, Eldoret, Moi international airports and Wilson Airport.

Read: How Weston Hotel land was grabbed from KCAA

The KAA officials tabled documents authenticated by director of survey showing the land.

Commissioner Njogu asked the officials from KAA if they have the original title deed and if it had been altered. “We have the original title. We got our title August 1, 1996 and here are guys who came and obtained the titles on top of our own titles,” Odao said.

Commissioner Musyoka urged interested parties to bring all documents during the hearing.

More than 20 lawyers represented their clients. During the hearing, a section of lawyers claimed they were seeing the complaint for the first time.

Odao said they will supply all the lawyers with the necessary documents for them to prepare for the full hearing. 

Mukolwe said the full hearing will be on December 20. She said some of those claiming ownership got their title deeds before KAA.

“The land they got the title for had been compulsorily acquired by government for purposes of being utilised as Jomo Kenyatta International Airport,” Mukolwe said.

“If land has been reserved for public use, how can it go to the private hands?”

Gathii Irungu, representing Kemsa urged the commissioners to go to the area for fact-finding tour.

“If the documentations are wrong, it will be useless,” Mukolwe told Irungu.

Mukolwe said even if Kemsa is a government agency, its premises should be in the right place.

JKIA is the flagship airport of the KAA. The airport boasts of more than 40 passenger airlines and 25 cargo airlines.

Its importance as an aviation centre makes it the pacesetter for other airports in the region.

More: We will 'name, shame' grabbers of JKIA land

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