Kisumu governor Anyang’ Nyong’o. PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM | NMG
A committee comprising the county government of Kisumu and the national government has been formed to work with the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) to repossess grabbed parcels of land in the lakeside city.
The move comes after locals and leaders decried the open grabbing of over 21 prime pieces of land within Kisumu’s city centre.
The land grab has delayed the commencement of crucial development projects and stopped the completion of others.
Among the grabbed parcels is the recently developed Kibuye market, which was meant to accommodate traders moved from various parts of the county.
Private developers have also grabbed another parcel of land in Nyalenda next to the Tom Mboya Labour College.
“We have 21 pieces of land belonging to the government that have been grabbed including the office the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) is occupying currently, which belongs to the county government of Kisumu. These grabbers have taken the title deeds of these parcels of land and have charged loans on them,” said Kisumu city manager Abala Wanga.
Nyanza regional commissioner Magu Mutindika said that the National Lands Commission will take up its mandate to ensure all the grabbed land is recovered.
“We will work with NLC to ensure all grabbed land is repossessed. After that we call on the county government to come up with proper planning of Kisumu,” said Mr Mutindika.
They spoke during the launch of the multi-billion-shilling Makasembo Housing Estate, an affordable housing project which set to replace over 50-year-old council homes that sat on the 11.68-acre piece of land.
The project comprises residential houses which will be available from Sh1.8 million, pre-school, communal areas and other social amenities such as parking for 1, 754 cars, high-speed lifts, boreholes and solar.
Kisumu governor Anyang’ Nyong’o also put developers who are holding on to land in Kisumu for speculative purposes on notice, saying they are stifling the development of the city.
He noted that this has discouraged investment in the city while frustrating the county’s planning for affordable homes in the area.
“The notion of investors acquiring large tracts of land, especially in urban areas, and waiting for the prices to escalate before selling them has greatly hindered the provision of affordable housing. We are putting a stop to this in Kisumu,” said Prof Nyong’o.