Lands cabinet secretary Faridah Karoney has directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to carry out investigations at the Eldoret lands offices and arrest officers said to be engaging in corruption and irregular acquisition of private land.
She gave the directive after reports that unscrupulous lawyers and corrupt lands officers were grabbing land belonging to victims of the 2007/2008 post lection violence who did not return home after the violence.
John Maina, 85, is a victim of the intrigue as his five-acre land situated at the prime Ilula area in Uasin Gishu county worth Sh25 million was sub divided into 23 plots ready for sale to unsuspecting buyers.
The lands officials are said to have colluded with some lawyers to deregister the legitimate owner. Family members said that the land has already been subdivided into 23 plots and title deeds acquired in suspicious ways ready for disposal to unsuspecting buyers.
Kimutai Kirui who is an official of the Centre Against Torture Kenya chapter has urged the police to immediately investigate the matter and save land owners from losing their land.
He said most of the victims were vulnerable people who did not even know the law and ended up finding their property in different hands.
He said the practice was rampant in the county and that unless the matter is handled swiftly, most people will end up homeless and disillusioned.
Lands officials who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals from their bosses said already, CID officers were investigating the matter. They said the current focus was of Maina’s land since it had been reported.
They added that further transactions on the land had been stopped and that it could revert back to him once the paperwork was complete and suspects arrested and charged in the court of law.