Police collude with land fraudsters, claims report

Monday, November 9th, 2020 00:00 |
Youth block a section of Kangundo Road in Nairobi as they protested against the grabbing of public land meant for construction of a school by a private developer. Photo/PD/PHILIP KAMAKYA

A senior police officer at Vigilance House, former Athi River and Kayole OCPDs are some of the senior officers colluding closely with land cartels in Nairobi and its environs.

A confidential report by the National Police Service has identified several officers who work in cahoots with fraudsters to defraud Kenyans of their legally acquired pieces of land.

The report, following an internally commissioned probe, was submitted to the Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai last week and sources said he was still studying it.

At least three of the senior officers fingered in the report were transferred in the last few months.

The officers are said to be involved in dubious activities including forceful and violent evictions of land owners, destruction of private property, protection to criminal gangs and extortion, according to the report. 

“Only those owners who pay ‘protection fee’ to prevent destruction of their property or ‘approval fee’ to be allowed to build, amounting to hundreds of thousands of shillings are spared and allowed to continue with their planned constructions,” the report reads.

Turning blind eye

The officers are said to “turn a blind eye” on criminal activities as they profit from such. 

Sosian estate, under Soweto police station in Kayole is one of the areas identified to have been infiltrated by the criminal gangs disguising themselves as ‘Kiambu Dandora Farmers Association’.

The gang has been violently and forcefully grabbing undeveloped plots, reselling them and offering the new owners protection against reprisal by the legitimate land owners. 

The report reveals that land owners who intend to develop their parcels must pay Sh300,000 to the gang leader or face eviction and destruction.

Following the probe, the local commanders are now under radar of a team of detectives.

At least two residents in the area have recorded their statements with the police after their houses were demolished for failing to pay approval fees to the gang.

Approval fees

The gang is so daring that they are said to have approached the owners of Shujaa Mall along Spine road, about 50 metres from Sosian estate, demanding for approval fees.

The report states that the gang had threatened to deface the mall if they are not paid the fees.

Among the leaders of the gang are current and former police informants who use their privileged associations with the police to commit crime.

In nearby Donholm estate, a senior banker and his family have been fighting a group of squatters who have laid claim to a piece of land. Several cases have been brought to court over the years.

The matter is still in court awaiting a ruling even after

Squatters have laid claim to the land and accused the banker, whom they accuse of  protecting their land through the use of police officers who are stationed at the contentious piece of land round the clock.

In Mlolongo where two senior officers have been identified as the beneficiaries of the gang, a group has been hiring gangs to destroy people’s property in Mulinge Scheme.

The main aim is to displace the rightful owners so that they can resell the land.

In Dandora, the Taliban gang is also known for destruction and extortion. One of the gang members is connected to senior officers at the headquarters, according to the report.

As a result, the leader has been offering protection to hired gang members.

Due to the seriousness of the allegations contained in the report, IG Mutyambai is expected to act on the report soon.

“Only stern action will deter the rogue officers and the gang members from becoming bolder and expanding their criminal enterprise,” said a senior officer who sought anonymity.

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