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Economy

Saga over grabbing of Kiambu college land takes new twist

Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology students protest on July 25, 2017 over the grabbing of the institute's 200 acres of land by the Board of Trustee. PHOTO | ERIC WAINAINA | NATION
Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology students protest on July 25, 2017 over the grabbing of the institute's 200 acres of land by the Board of Trustee. PHOTO | ERIC WAINAINA | NATION 

The saga on the grabbing of the entire Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology (Kist) took a new twist Tuesday, after politicians in the county locked the trustees’ offices and vowed to reclaim the land.

On Monday the Nation exclusively reported how the trustees had transferred 200 acres of prime land and buildings, all worth Sh32 billion, to an entity known as Registered Trustees of Kiambu Institute of Science and Technology, leaving the vocational college without land.

At the moment, documents show, the trustees want to “donate” some 30 acres back to the institute.

It also emerged that on Monday, the officials of of the college were summoned to a meeting convened by both Lands and Education ministries. The trustees are said to have insisted that they owned the land which was until recently was under the college.

“Yesterday (Monday), we had a consultative meeting with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Lands where the Board of Trustees insisted that the land belongs to them and therefore they can subdivide it as they wish,” said Dr Kamau Kariu, who is the Board of Management’s chairman.

The matter has triggered uproar in Kiambu County and yesterday, students from the college took to the streets to protest over the issue.

The students were later joined by Kiambu’s Jubilee Party candidate for the gubernatorial seat, Mr Ferdinand Waititu, and Kiambu Township ward candidate Antony Ikonya who demanded that the land be returned to the institution.

“Kist is public property and we will not allow greedy individuals to grab it or even reap from it. We shall push to ensure they (trustees) get surcharged for the loans they borrowed using the school’s properties ,” said Mr Waititu.

At the centre of the scandal is former commissioner of lands and Kiambu millionaire James Raymond Njenga, former chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers Allan Ngugi and Nairobi lawyer George Waruhiu.

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