Oparanya calls for NLC support in recovery of grabbed county land
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya wants the National Land Commission (NLC) to support his administration’s efforts to repossess illegally acquired land allocated to prominent people in the county.
Oparanya said politicians, retired and current senior civil servants had grabbed many of the parcels of land.
Speaking during a meeting with NLC Commissioners who paid him a courtesy call, Oparanya lamented that prime plots in Kakamega town were illegally allocated to public servants who were now demanding for compensation after the county initiated the process of repossessing them.
“We are battling court cases where senior public officers allocated plots illegally are demanding compensation.
This is an area where we require NLC’s intervention because the plots are lying idle,” the governor said.
Judge demands payment
He disclosed that a High Court judge had irregularly been allocated a plot belonging to the Bukhungu Stadium and that he was now demanding for Sh45 million as compensation to surrender the land.
“I will not pay him a single cent because the land belongs to the public. We want it repossessed for expansion of the stadium,” he added.
Oparanya said all plots that were lying idle in the town would be repossessed and allocated to developers.
He added that his directive had attracted a litany of court battles and asked NLC to help the county in dealing with such cases.
He accused the commission of allocating repossessed land to some institutions without involving the county government.
He said land issues were very emotive noting that this had caused counties to face a series of challenges in their bid to put public land to proper use.
“We have areas like Mumias where the government compensated people to move out of the land but they returned and resettled on those plots illegally,” he said.
Oparanya asked NLC to support the county acquire leases for several plots to enhance development.
Commissioner Tiya Galgalo, assured the governor that they would support his administration in resolving land issues to enable the county repossess idle plots for development.