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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Moi nephew caught in land grab saga

A demonstration against former President Daniel Moi’s nephew is in the making in Nakuru over an alleged land grabbing in the town.
According to a civil society group in Nakuru county that sought anonymity due to ‘security reasons at this juncture’, Gideon Toroitich is one of the beneficiaries of public land potentially meant for the Nakuru town expansion and general development.
The civil society officials claim the county cannot provide services effectively due to land grabbing in the area and is the reason they are planning a peaceful demonstration against Toroitich with a view to urging him to surrender to the county government some parcels he allegedly grabbed.
They are petitioning Lands CS Charity Ngilu and National Land Commission’s chairman Muhammed Swazuri to revoke the titles that Moi sister’s son could be having illegally for public parcels of land.
Among the lands they argue to have been grabbed from the previous government is where Cathey Hotel stands.
The hotel land is said to have belonged to the ministry of Education sometimes back and was where the former Nakuru district education officer’s residence was before it was demolished to pave way for the construction of the hotel.
Toroitich is purportedly the owner of the hotel which is one of Nakuru town’s most prestigious hotels.
The former retired president’s kin is also said to have taken hold of the defunct Nakuru municipality’s fire station grounds where Giddo Plaza lies.
This, the civil society says has led to the absence of grounds for Nakuru county fire engines which currently operate from the municipality’s garage.
“It becomes difficult for the fire engines workmen to assemble and fill their engines with water during emergency as sometimes they get themselves sandwiched by other locomotives thus compromising fire response in the county,” said one of the civil group’s official.
The alleged land grabber is said to have taken and attained a title deed for a parcel of land that belonged to Kenya Meat Commission in Nakuru.
The land next to the ASK grounds in Nakuru according to them, initially had been given out to Kenya veterinary services after KMC failed to construct their Nakuru branch on the parcel and is now mysteriously owned by him.
It was only recently that area MP Samuel Arama tried to repossess it for a construction of a market when Toroitich sent a delegation to the lawmaker to abandon his mission and of which Arama is said to have bowed down to.
The society’s initiative comes hot on the heels of the latest promise by Ngilu that the  government has started pursuing those behind illegal allocation of public utilities.
The group officials speaking in Nakuru warned those who could be in possession of public land in the county to surrender the same to the county government before prosecution.
They said they are starting from Nakuru county and thereafter plan to name other parcels of land obtained illegally in other counties by Toroitich and other ‘well connected’ individuals in the previous regimes.
Ngilu has been quoted saying that lack of enough space in urban areas in the country has led to improper planning which could make most urban centres slums in years to come.