UNDEVELOPED FOR 20 YEARS

Moi clings to idle land for Bomet hospital

Residents say they'll take over prime CBD plot; county policy demands land be developed or surrendered

In Summary

• The three prime acres next to the Bomet Green stadium have been idle for 20 years.

•  In 2013 Governor Isaac Rutto ordered all plot owners in town to develop the land,  fence it off and pay accumulated rates - or land will revert to the county.

The three acres in Bomet that residents want repossessed from the Moi family. The land has been idle for more than 20 years.
LAND DISPUTE: The three acres in Bomet that residents want repossessed from the Moi family. The land has been idle for more than 20 years.
Image: FELIX KIPKEMOI:

A storm is brewing between Bomet leaders and the family of former President Daniel Moi over ownership of three prime acres in Bomet's Central Business District.

Moi was allotted the property and is said to hold the title deed but three other developers say they also hold title deeds.

The land is needed to build a hospital.

 
 
 

Bomet Central MP Ronald Tonui and other leaders have pledged to take over the land and revert it back to the county.

Leading a demonstration on Monday, the legislator urged the county to cancel the allotment letter for the land and turn it over to the national government to build a hospital.

They claim it was acquired illegally.

The land next to Bomet Green Stadium has been idle for 20 years.

The government has taken no action though policy dictates that idle land be used for the public benefit. 

In 2013 former Governor Isaac Rutto ordered all plot owners in town to develop, fence off and pay accumulated rates, otherwise, the land will be repossessed.

While other landowners rushed to fence off their plots and pay rates, the owner of the prime CBD land ignored the directive.

The county needs land to put up key facilities and expand others.

 

Bomet Health Center is also next to the prime land and needs to expand but space is not available.

Tonui has pledged to ensure the land is repossessed and be used to construct Bomet County Referral Hospital.

He said it was wrong for an individual to claim to own the land, while not developing it though residents lack space to expand key facilities.

“We are going to take back this land…we are going to sit with the county officials so that they initiate the process of repossessing it,” Tunoi said.

He said the county assembly should urgently draft a policy preserving the land for public amenities.

The Moi family is said to have been allocated the land in early 1990 by the Bomet councillors as a show of appreciation for giving them a district.

We are going to take back this land…we are going to sit with  county officials so  they initiate the process of repossessing it
Bomet Central MP Ronald Tonui

The land was used to put up a Kanu Party office.

In 2013, Sh400,000  in accrued rates was paid to Bomet county.

Kanu secretary general Nick Salat confirmed that Moi holds the title deed of the land and warned leaders against attempting to repossess it.

Speaking to the Star, Salat said the MP Tunoi was playing politics.

He said the Moi family was willing to relinquish the land to the public for the benefit of the people - but only if due process is followed not a land grab

"If they are serious about the issue they should follow the due process rather than resorting to mob justice.”

Lands and Urban Planning CEC Daisy Rono promised to follow up on the problem. She said she was not aware Moi has a title deed; she said she only has details of three other individuals with allotment letters.

Rono said the county was conducting a valuation of all idle lands in all towns to determine how they were acquired, with a view to addressing the issue.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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