Economy

Moi associate to lose Sh250m over grabbing of school land

SENATE

Members of Senate during past proceedings. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Summary

  • A Senate committee has recommended revocation of a title deed for 10 acres of public land in Kitale allocated to a confidant of former President Daniel arap Moi.
  • The decision by the Senate Committee on Land, Environment and Natural Resources will see the former Kenya Seeds Managing Director Nathaniel Tum lose an investment of over Sh250 million.

A Senate committee has recommended revocation of a title deed for 10 acres of public land in Kitale allocated to a confidant of former President Daniel arap Moi, who will suffer losses of over Sh250 million.

The decision by the Senate Committee on Land, Environment and Natural Resources will see the former Kenya Seeds Managing Director Nathaniel Tum lose an investment of over Sh250 million that he has made on the land owned by a public school.

On the disputed property, he has established a large extensive service station, service bay, supermarket and cafeteria. Other developments are a water plant, car wash and residential housing units.

The Senate Committee chaired by Nyandarua Senator Mwangi Githiomi wants the Ministry of Lands to issue a new title in favour of Kitale Primary School and the land be reverted to its original acreage of 136 acres.

After investigating the longstanding dispute on ownership of the land, the committee found the allocation done to Mr Tum by the former Commissioner of Lands to be irregular and illegal.

It is the second time Mr Tum’s title deed will be cancelled. In May 2010, former Lands minis James Orengo (now Siaya senator) revoked Mr Tum's title in a Gazette Notice that stated that the land had been reserved for public purpose. But in 2013 the private investor managed to get another title registered as 12/236 to exclude the area encroaching the dormitories of the school. His area reduced from four hectares to 3.560 hectares.

The sewage pits of Kitale School remain in the land that allegedly belongs to Mr Tum, the report reads. While investigating the matter, the Senate Committee did not find any evidence that the title was cancelled.

“The presence of a land hook on the same parcel of land between Kitale School Primary and Nathaniel Tum shows the presence of an illegality because a land hook is a method of indicating on a survey map the existence of contiguous parcels with the same ownership,” reads the Senate Committee’s report.

Mr Tum was removed as CEO in 2003 following revelations that he had irregularly transferred ownership of Kenya Seed to the family of the late Moi.

Over the past 18 years, he has been fighting for control of the seed company in a war that is centred on a 2001 share sale deal that effectively transferred the parastatal to private hands with minority State ownership.

According to the document, the school was allocated the land in 1929 by the colonial administration and had reserved 30 acres for Kitale School-Secondary that was commissioned in 1994.

However, in response Mr Tum denied the allegation that there was an illegal alienation of land belonging to the school and that he conspired with the Commissioner of Lands to alienate the 10 acres. He says he got the land legally and procedurally.