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JKIA Loses 87.9 Hectares To Cartels In Mysterious Ways

IMAGE/ COURTESY

The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has lost over 87.9 hectares to private developers and grabbers.

In the saga, more than 119 title deeds have been issued to the cartels, without the knowledge of the National Land Commission (NLC).

“There are two kinds of people we are dealing with: some inside the airport who got the titles just before JKIA got theirs, and others who were creating titles on top of the JKIA title,” NLC vice chairperson Abigael Mbagaya said, adding that they are preparing to revoke the title deeds.

According to NLC, most of the grabbed land sits on designated site for the planned second runway, and all are for 99-year leases.

Among the notorious land grabbers include Hunting Aerospace and two unnamed Syokimau land companies, which have grabbed land meant for the proposed second runway.

Read: JKIA Granted Last Point Of Departure Clearance For Direct Flights To US

The 119 are the statistics which NLC has data to, leaving a possibility of massive land grabbing at the airport, which secured its title deed in 1996.

“But the long and short of it is that there is a lot of public utility land in the wrong hands, and JKIA is just one of them,” says Mbagaya.

Upon invitation to explain how they acquired the land, the companies could not give a substantial answer only requesting to be given “more time to file a response”.

“They appeared and requested to be given time to respond to claims by JKIA, which had reported that the land had been given to the airport many decades ago and it got a title for the entire land measuring 4,674.6 hectares,” Ms Mbagaya said.

Of the 119 titles, 62 were done from 1996, while 57 were acquired before 1996.

The revelations come a few days after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) said that they will reclaim the land that DP William Ruto’s Weston Hotel sits on as the parcel of land belongs to them.

The executive director Gilbert Kibe said that the land where the hotel is located is among the parcels of land that they wish to repossess and they are in court with regards to the same.

According to Kibe a letter was written in 2001 to the PS for land Nehemiah Ng’eno allocated the KCAA with the title for the land as it was attracting private developers.

This advise was ignored and the land was sold to Priority limited a company linked to Deputy president Ruto on August 30, 2002. He was in the ministry of Home affairs.

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Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. He believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye. He has also carved himself a niche in writing business stories. He has worked for various organisations including Kenya Television Service, Business Today among others. Follow him on Twitter @FmuliKE.

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