Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) lost three prime parcels of land in Mombasa under the watch of former National Lands Commission chairman Mohammed Swazuri, former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko and former KRC managing director Atanas Maina.
According to information in our possession, the three plots in Mombasa Island, Shimanzi area were first illegally and irregularly converted into government property before being leased to an individual and a company.
Two of the parcels, Mombasa/Block XIV/374 (0.6229 hectares) and Mombasa/BlockXIV/367 (1.993) hectares) were leased by the government to Mohamed Said Shimasy and a private company known as M-Tech Building Works Ltd respectively, according to evidence in our possession.
The whole process was fraudulent, as it did not follow the due process, and happened under the hand of the then Registrar of Titles, Mr. C.W Ngatia, according to a letter dated February 10, 2011.
The fraud came into light in December 2017 through a whistleblower prompting the then DPP Keriako Tobiko to order investigations through senior assistant DPP Mr. Muteti Muasya. This is in accordance with a letter dated December 21, 2017, addressed to OCPD Railways, Miritini Terminus and copied to Asset Recovery Agency, Kenya Railways MD and the Attorney General.
In a letter dated January 30, 2018, Muteti requested the Director of Surveys, Ruaraka Nairobi to shed light on the case of the two parcels of land, on whose authority was the Registry Index Map (RIM).
A case of land grabbing was exposed from the response of the Director of Surveys and later confirmed by a letter from the KRC managing director dated February 14, 2018. The MD confirmed that the two parcels of land fell within KRC’s reserve area and that there was no record of the surrender of the plots to the government.
The chairman of NLC also concurred with the findings of the two authorities.
It was at this juncture while the Asset Recovery Authority was conducting its investigations discovered another parcel of land, Mombasa/Block XIV/368 had been grabbed under similar circumstances of the previous two, leased to M-TechBuilding Works and charged to Kenya Commercial Bank.
To date, there are still a number of KRC train physical facts on the parcels of land.
So how did it happen?
An independent investigation by Kahawa Tungu reveals fraud, forgery, typing errors and fakery that was involved in the grabbing of the three parcels of land.
As is the norm, all plots within Mombasa Island are registered in block form number under the Registered Land Act regime and the Block number is mandatory written in Roman numerical form.
However, according to a purported lease document dated February 9, 2011, one of the parcels is indicated as Mombasa Island Municipality Block /367, instead of the Mombasa/Block XIV/367. The document, which is in our possession, was allegedly signed by the then Commissioner of Lands Mr. Zablon Agwata Mabea. The document, together with the Title deeds, bear several typing errors and discrepancies.
The same is replicated for the plot Mombasa/Block XIV/374 as illustrated below.
Surprisingly, no case or effort has been instigated by relevant authorities so far to reclaim the lands, on which Kahawa Tungu learns the grabbers are doing construction works. This is despite a purported restriction order by the Assets Recovery Authority.
As if that is not enough, this desk learns there are other parcels of land belonging to KRC that have been grabbed. The MD had promised to provide the list of the grabbed parcels of land and the grabbers to the relevant government agencies by August 31, 2018. This has not happened, raising eyebrows on whether it was just another PR stint or the MD was ‘silenced’ by the cartels.
It also beats logic how such erroneous documents found their way into government records.
The slackness in government to take action in the cases raises questions on who is involved, and how much money has exchanged hands as the DPP pretends not to see despite the evidence before him.