Kenya: KFS Warns Kenyans Against Buying Parcels Around Ngong Road Forest

The Kenya Forest Service is warning Kenyans not to be duped into buying land within Ngong Road Forest around Sunvalley Lang'ata and surrounding areas without verification.

The agency said Kenyans were being swindled of millions of shillings and being sold air, within forest land.

"Much of the land that is purportedly up for sale by crooks there is part of Ngong Forest land which will be reclaimed. It is just a matter of time," warned KFS Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau on Thursday, "and it will not matter what is on the land, it will eventually revert to the KFS. It won't matter what sits on the forest land when we come for it. We'll take all of what belongs to the forest."

Mr Kamau said the Ngong Road Forest sits on 1,224.4 hectares, but 789 hectares have been grabbed by unscrupulous developers and land racketeers.

However, according to a record given by KFS in 2017, the Ngong Road Forest sat on 2,850 at gazettement, in 1932. Meaning the land continues to be excised.

KFS board chairman Peter Kinyua said some people had acquired titles to the land under forest area fraudulently.

"Anybody sitting on forest land, will have to vacate. Many of the people on those parcels of land there say they have titles but they have titles to what? When was it degazetted, by whom? Because for public land to convert into private land, a parliamentary process to degazette it has to have happened," Mr Kinyua said, adding that a process was underway to recover the irregularly acquired land.

"Some people have illegally and irregularly erected structures on these 789 hectares. But it remains gazetted as forest land and it has a legal notice and there is no process of degazettement that has been undertaken," Mr Kamau said.

"Anybody who is in the forest illegally has to vacate. We're very clear in terms of mapping all the forest areas around the country," he added.

"And there are Kenyans who've actually been doing the right thing by writing to us to establish the status of what they want to acquire against the forest jurisdiction and we give them advice.

"I want to ask Kenyans who are buying in the area around Ngong Road Forest to do serious due diligence before investing millions of shillings. We do not charge for the service. It is absolutely free of charge, so Kenyans should not hesitate to come to us," advised the conservator.

Investigations by the Nation revealed that a 40 by 60 ft plots are currently going for about Sh12 million. The grabbed land is currently being sold by among other sellers a former MP.

Some of the properties adjacent to Lang'ata police dog unit, are said to sit on the private land that includes about 800 prime homes in Parkview, Sunvalley 1, Sunvalley 2, Kenya Medical Association, Langata View Apartments and St Mary's Hospital.

Most of the grabbed forest land, initially used as training ground for police dogs, now hosts lavish homes belonging to senior government officials, businessmen and a community.

In 2017, KFS announced that of the 2,850 ha of woodland gazetted in 1932, only 1,224.4 ha was left after some powerful and connected people grabbed almost half of it.

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