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County on war path with grabbers as repossessions start

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County on war path with grabbers as repossessions start by Saocv(1): Thu 16, April, 2020 11:28pm
Governor Kinyanjui defends repossession of parcel meant to build bus park, says more seizures to follow

By Jane Ngugi/KNA

The Nakuru County government says it will not hesitate to repossess public land to facilitate infrastructure development. This follows repossession from a private developer by the county authority land set aside to build a bus park.

While announcing plans to restore public property for construction of critical infrastructure, Governor Lee Kinyanjui said interests of individuals could not override those of Nakuru residents.

He accused some individuals of engaging in cheap publicity stunts by distorting facts to win public sympathy.

“The occupier, who is using it as a parking yard, was informed about plans to construct the new bus terminus and issued with a notice to vacate. Our earlier efforts to access the land was thwarted by hired goons,” he said.

“We cannot allow selfish interests of an individual to stop construction of a public utility that will not only ease congestion in the town but create employment,” he added.

Mr. Kinyanjui defended his enforcement team against accusations of vandalising property during the eviction adding that the County administration would not be drawn into “cheap publicity stunts and sympathy seeking antics”.

“We have a duty to safeguard public interest and will not be intimidated, compromised or allow any obstruction in execution of our mandate. In the past, we have issued amnesty to individuals to return illegally acquired public land or have it forcibly taken away from them,” he said.

The county government embarked on the process of identifying grabbed pieces of public land, with a view of repossessing them last year.

In July of the same year, The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) handed back to the county several parcels of land that were illegally allocated to individuals.

Governor Kinyanjui had then expressed concern over illegal sale of several plots previously owned by local authorities and the government by corrupt officials.

“Some corrupt individuals allocated themselves and their cronies public land meant for expansion of urban centres across the county,” said Kinyanjui.

The governor said the sale of the public land had impeded setting up of public utilities, with land having to be sourced from elsewhere to facilitate the same.

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