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Narok owner of 819ha set for big payday in land acquisition by military

Muhammad Swazuri
National Land Commission chairman Muhammad Swazuri. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The government is acquiring thousands of hectares to put up a new military facility within the wildlife rich Mara Triangle in Narok County, with a single individual owning more than half the land set for a big pay day.

Some 1,400 hectares are targeted with 819 hectares owned by John Kiragu Wambugu.

The announcement was contained in a gazette notice published last Friday.

“In pursuance of sections 112 and 162 of the Land Act, 2012, Part VIII, the National Land Commission (NLC) on behalf of the Ministry of Defence gives notice that the National Government intends to acquire the following parcels of land for military use in Narok County,” it said.

The gazette notice invited the affected Mr Wambugu together with 16 others to visit NLC’s offices at Ardhi House third floor and on 1st Ngong Avenue in Nairobi.

The affected land is in Lemek and Olkenyei areas and hosts luxury lodges within private wildlife conservancies located next to the world famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve. Kenya’s Defence Forces own large tracts of land in various parts of the country with most of it acquired during the colonial era.

The Defence ministry has not disclosed the intended use of the vast chunk of land.

The government has been on a land acquisition spree in the past decade with land bought along the 472 kilometre Standard Gauge Railway(SGR) route from Nairobi to Mombasa as well as the planned SGR phase two section along the 120 kilometre Nairobi-Naivasha route.

The government has also been acquiring land for construction of dams, and expansion of key roads across the country as well as establishment of new airports.

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