Lamu county blows whistle on land grabbing syndicate

Lamu county blows whistle on land grabbing syndicate

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Lamu County . FILE/PHOTO.

Lamu, KENYA:The County government of Lamu has blown the whistle on a massive land grabbing syndicate of lands surrounding mega development projects in the county.

It has been established that over 10,000 acres of land surrounding the proposed Sh.21 Billion wind project plant in Mpeketoni have been grabbed by a group of tycoons.

Others affected, are lands surrounding the Lamu Port LAPSSET project where thousands of acres are reported to have been grabbed by moneyed tycoons.

Lamu deputy governor Eric Mugo said many of the grabbers are those whose ownership of over 500,000 acres belonging to 22 ranches, was revoked by the government last year.

“After the government revoked title deeds of the 22 ranches that had been found to have been irregularly acquired, the owners have now turned their attention to the lands at Baharini where the wind project is to come up.” Said Mugo.

Out of the over 12,000 acres land in Baharini area in Mpekoni,only 3,200 have been set aside for the wind project while the rest of the acreage has been grabbed.

Speaking in Lamu on Sunday,Mugo appealed on the National Lands Commission-NLC and the lands ministry to intervene and stop the vice.

Many of the residents have become squatters on their own lands as the tycoons are said to be armed with fake title deeds and driven many out of their homes.

Mugo said the number of squatters will increase drastically is measures aren’t taken to stop land grabbing and subsequent landlessness.

“These tycoons have rendered thousands homeless. They are even armed with fake title deeds which they use to ply their dirty trade. We are blowing the whistle and calling on the NLC and national government to intervene and do something fast,” said Mugo.

He called on investors to ensure the county government is fully consulted and involved in order to avoid any foul play.