Counties rocked by vicious, protracted land related rows

Tuesday, September 8th, 2020 00:00 |
Justice. Photo/Courtesy

Eric Wainaina @EWainaina

At least 17 counties are engaged in vicious land rows with either national government institutions or their respective neighbouring devolved units.

Protracted battles involve control of land parcels and revenue collections as well as tenders, with two others already resolved through arbitration.

Disputes have arisen from instances where the regional governments have either been accused of grabbing land belonging to the national governments, mostly parastatals and vice-versa or trespassing their neighbours territories to collect revenue.

Other causes are transfer of functions, application of policies and legislations not aligned to the Articles 174 and Articles 175 of the Constitution, county boundaries, human capital relations such as the Health Workers work relations and environments most of which end up in the corridors of justice.

Counties engaged in disputes that are now a subject of arbitration by Intergovernmental Relations Technical Committee (IGRTC) include Kiambu that is fighting with Kenya Postal Corporation where the county took over the latter’s prime land in Kiambu Town and turned into a bus terminus leading to a court case.

Embu is battling with Embu University over a 30-year-old agricultural training centre while Kakamega is wrangling with National Intelligence Service (NIS) a Kakamega Town land.

Bungoma, according to IGRTC, is in a row with the Lake Basin Development Authority over land parcels in the county. 

Kisumu on the other hand is fighting with the national government over office space and a similar case in West Pokot while Tharaka Nithi is battling Kenya Prisons  over land ownership.

Kericho is in row with Kisumu for control for revenues along a common border while Taita Taveta is battling Kenya Wildlife Service  where the county is claiming part of the revenues at Tsavo East and West Park while a former contractor is at war with Kwale County.

Settles two

City Hall in Nairobi and Department of Defence were at war over Kayole Link Road and also over revenues, both of which have been resolved, according to IGRTC acting chairman John Burugu. 

“Currently, we have 17 on going cases, which have been declared to IGRTC. We have settled two, with one case going back to court –where parities failed to agree on a way forward. The rest of the cases are various stages of discussion,” said Burugu.

On Tuesday, the taxman allowed Nairobi County Government, which it has been battling a court case with, to access its finances after it lifted a freeze on City Halls banks account over Sh3 billion accrued taxes by the previous administrations.

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