Saturday, February 23, 2008
KENYATTA, MOI, KIBAKI--WARUDISHIE WAKENYA MASHAMBA YAO!!!!
Kenya's two former First Families and the family of President Mwai Kibaki are among the biggest landowners in the country. The extended Kenyatta family alone owns an estimated 500,000 acres — approximately the size of Nyanza Province — according to estimates by independent surveyors and Ministry of Lands officials. (This report first appeared in the Standard Newspaper report by Mr. Otsieno Namwaya)
The Kibaki and Moi families also own large tracts, most held in the names of sons and daughters and other close family members, all concentrated within the 17.2 % of Kenya that is arable or valued. Remember that 80 per cent of all land in Kenya is mostly arid and semi arid land.
The building land crises in the country, experts say, will be difficult to solve because the most powerful people in the country are also among its biggest landowners.The tracts of land under the Kenyatta family are so widely distributed within the numerous members in various parts of the country that it is an almost impossible task to locate all of them and establish their exact sizes.
During Kenyatta's 15-year tenure in State House, he used the elaborate STFS scheme funded by the World Bank and the British Government, to acquired large pieces of land all over the country. Other tracts, he easily allocated to his family.
Among the best-known parcels owned by Kenyatta's family, for instance, are the 24, 000 acres in Taveta sub-district adjacent to the 74, 000 acres owned by former MP Basil Criticos.
Others are 50, 000 acres in Taita that is currently under Mrs Beth Mugo, an Assistant minister of Education and niece of Kenyatta, 29, 000 acres in Kahawa Sukari along the Nairobi—Thika highway, the 10, 000 acre Gichea Farm in Gatundu, 5, 000 acres in Thika, 9,000 acres in Kasarani and the 5, 000-acre Muthaita Farm.
These are beside others such as Brookside Farm, Green Lee Estate, Njagu Farm in Juja, a quarry in Dandora in Nairobi and a 10, 000-acre ranch in Naivasha. There is another 200 acres in Mombasa, and 250 acres in Malindi.
Other pieces of land owned by the Kenyatta family include the 52,000-acre farm in Nakuru and a 20,000-acre one, also known as Gichea Farm, in Bahati under Kenyatta's daughter, Margaret. Besides, Mama Ngina Kenyatta, widow of the former President, owns another 10, 000 acres in Rumuruti while a close relative of the Kenyatta family, a Mrs Kamau, has 40,000 acres in Endebes in the Rift Valley Province.
Uhuru owns 5,000 acres in Eldoret, 3,000 acres in Rongai and 12,000 acres in Naivasha, 100 acres in Karen, and 200 acres in Dagoretti. A 1,000-acre farm in Dagoretti is owned by Kenyatta's first wife Wahu.
It is also understood that part of the land on which Kenyatta and Jomo Kenyatta Universities are constructed initially belonged the Criticos family. The government bought the land from him in 1972 under the Settlement Transfer Fund Scheme and transferred to the Kenyatta family the same day Criticos sold it to the government. Land for the two universities was subsequently sold partly and a portion donated by the family.
One of President Kibaki's earliest grabs is the 1,200-acre Gingalily Farm along the Nakuru-Solai road. And in the 1970s, Kibaki, who was then the minister for Finance under Kenyatta, via STFS transferred to himself, 10, 000 acres in Bahati from the then Agriculture minister Bruce Mckenzie.
Kibaki also owns another 10, 000 acres at Igwamiti in Laikipia and 10, 000 acres in Rumuruti in Naivasha. These are in addition to the 1,600 acre Ruare Ranch.
Just next to Kibaki's Bahati land are Moi's 20, 000 acres although his best known piece of land is the 1,600 Kabarak Farm on which he has retired. It is one of the most well utilised farms in the area, with wheat, maize and dairy cattle.
The former President owns another 20, 000 acres in Olenguruoni in Rift Valley, on which he is growing tea and has also built the Kiptakich Tea Factory (recently torched). He also has some 20, 000 acres in Molo. He also has another 3, 000-acre farm in Bahati on both sides of the Nakuru/Nyahururu road where he grows coffee and some 400 acres in Nakuru on which he was initially growing coffee.
The former President also owns the controversy ridden 50, 000 acre Ol Pajeta Farm—part of which has Ol Pajeta ranch in Rumuruti, Laikipia. Some time in 2004 Moi put out an advert in the press warning the public that some unknown people were sub-dividing and selling it.