The Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), has notified Neno Evangelism proprietor, pastor James Ng’ang’a, of plans to reclaim the land occupied by the main church in Nairobi.
In a notice dated Friday, January 31, the Kenya Railways indicated that the land belonging to the corporation was illegally acquired.
The property occupied by the church, plot LR. NO.209/9640, according to the Kenya Railways, encroaches on land initially reserved for railway use.
“Historical records in our possession indicate that the land bound by Haile Selassie Avenue, Uhuru Highways and Bunyala Road in which various Railway infrastructure are contained was reserved for railway use,” the letter signed by Kenya Railways MD Philip Mainga reads in part.
The new grants on portions, the corporation says, were issued by the Commissioner of Lands in around 1994 without consent of KRC.
“There is no record in our possession showing that the Corporation surrendered the said land to the Commissioner of lands for allocation and hence the process is irregular, ” said Mainga.
Ng’ang’a was directed to surrender all documents relating to the “irregular allocation” to Kenya Railways.
“You are hereby requested to surrender all documents relating to the irregular allocation of the above-referenced property to the Corporation,” reads the letter.
In reclaiming the land, the Corporation said it’s closely working with the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) and other Asset Recovery agencies.
When Ng’ang’a was contacted by a local media over the planned repossession, he claimed that he had not seen the letter as he was in a fasting and prayer retreat in a local forest.
He, however, admitted that KRC officials were seen near the church land.
“Those are the things that disturb my spirit. Media should not call a pastor who is deep in prayer to ask about land. I am deep in talks with God for now, please!” said Ng’ang’a. He later admitted that he had sent his people on the ground and they informed him that on Friday, a team went near his church, surveyed it, took some measurements and left.
“I am told they were in the property behind my church. Not my church because my land is legally acquired,” he said.
Last month, the pastor was also on the spot after a branch of his church was accused of grabbing a piece of land belonging to an elderly woman.
The Neno Evangelism Centre’s Bulbul branch in Ngong, Kajiado County, is accused of defying orders issued by the National Land Commission (NLC) and the County Lands Board asking the church to vacate the land belonging to Ms Susan Ngina Kanyila.
The church, through one Joseph Muriithi Mborothi, is said to have illegally encroached on the Ms Kanyila’s land and started building a church structure in 2013.
The woman, who said that she had forwarded a petition to EACC over the matter, appealed to the government to help her get the land back.