Fisheries institute land in Mtwapa, Turkana grabbed

2 months ago 64

Tuesday July 19 2022


Properties belonging to KMFRI in Turkana, Baringo, Sangoro and Mtwapa have been encroached on by private developers. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

Properties belonging to the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Institute (KMFRI) in Turkana, Baringo, Sangoro and Mtwapa have been encroached on by private developers, a parliamentary report shows.

The National Assembly’s Public Investments Committee (PIC) says the institute lacked ownership documents for the four parcels.

The committee says KMFRI’s prime property measuring 13.42 acres in Mtwapa in Kilifi, had been encroached by private developers.

James Njiru, the Kmfri managing director, told Pic that the land was registered in the name of Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (Kari) which ceded 10 acres adjacent to the ocean to Kmfri for the establishment of a research station.

“Before the transfer was done, the land was grabbed by private developers,” Mr Njiru said in submissions to PIC.

“The matter had been reported to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission and investigations were ongoing.”

The Auditor-General Nancy Gathungu flagged the grabbing of the 13.42 acres following an audit of the institute’s books of accounts. She said available information indicates that the land had been encroached on by a private developer.

“No documentary evidence to show that there were adequate follow-ups to evict the private developer from the land or to repossess that land,” Ms Gathungu said.

She also questioned the ownership of unsurveyed parcels of land located in Turkana, Baringo, Sangoro and Mtwapa which had not been valued nor included in the asset register.

“The institute did not have titles for land measuring 1.8 and 6.0 hectares in Sangoro and Shimoni respectively,” Ms Gathungu said.

Kmfri told PIC that it was in possession of the four parcels of land and has been seeking to obtain ownership documents from the respective government agencies.

Mr Njiru told lawmakers the Turkana station was built on land belonging to State Department for Fisheries and therefore the Kmfri did not own the land.

He said the institute was allocated a parcel of land in Baringo plot No. P.D.P R/B/355/97/4 to set up a research station adjacent to the lake but was not issued with ownership documents by the area county council.

Mr Njiru said the land located at Kambi ya Samaki was grabbed by a private developer.

“The institute filed a court case seeking to evict the land grabber. The institute made several attempts to acquire ownership documents from the local government offices without success,” he said.

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Source : Businessdaily Africa