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BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,25TH JULY 2018-The National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri maintains that the controversial riddled Ruaraka land is private.
Addressing Journalists on Wednesday , Swazuri said the owner, Afrison Export Import Limited, has been complaining about illegal intrusion for more than 30 years, and there is no Deed of Surrender to indicate that the land was handed over to the government.
He alleged there is a ploy by the media and a section of government officials to push him and fellow commissioners to resign.
Mr Swazuri reiterated that the commission was first aware of the matter in July 2015 when Afrison Limited sought its intervention.
“The gist of the complaint was that its property had been illegally occupied, which occupation he contested for over 30 years without much help or success,” the Chairman said.
According to him the commission pursued the matter with the ministries of Education and Lands, the Office of the Government Adviser, the Attorney General and others, to confirm the claims.
“The Ministry of Education Cabinet secretary wrote to the NLC on March 17, 2018 acknowledging the complaint and confirming that indeed there were public schools built on the private land.
“The CS then formally requested the commission to guide it in the requisite formal process and secure public interest by acquiring the land on which the schools stand,” Prof Swazuri said.
Chronology of events
Giving chronology of events for the last three years Swazuri said the then Attorney General Githu Muigai also wrote an advisory opinion to the Ministry of Education on July 7, 2017 confirming the public interest of the schools and the need for compulsory acquisition since the facilities are on private land.
“If all these have done their investigations in the past and confirmed in writing that the Land is indeed private land, why is it then that we have these confrontations? This is pure witch-hunt and it is very unfair to the commission,” he said.
He also said that records at the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning indicated that on March 28, 1984 the registered owner objected the conditional approval of the subdivision by the Nairobi City Council.
“If a subdivision is approved and all conditions are accepted by the applicant, requisite approval fees are applicable and a new survey is undertaken.
“Planning requirements form part of the conditions and may require that the applicant surrenders a specific part of the land (10pc) for public utilities and purposes,” he said, adding that upon sublission a Deed of Surrender must be prepared and put on record.
A letter by Afrison Director Francis Mburu on November 16, 2016 titled “Historical injustices partial occupation of private property by the Ministries of Education and Interior”, requested the commission to compensate the companies for the illegal occupation by Ruaraka Secondary School (13 acres) and a chief’s camp (4 acres).
Police last week arrested Mr Mburu, his two sons and businessman John Mutwiri for questioning by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission pertaining the issue.
Mr Mburu later said he will sue the Nairobi County government over the dispute and also present the matter before the Dubai International Court.
Mr Mburu, 65, accused Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko of deceiving Kenyans and the government, saying that Mr Sonko and other individuals had illegally allocated over 800 plots that are on his property.