Kenya: Mombasa Court Declines Challenge On Repossession of Grabbed Airport Land

Nairobi — The Environment and Land Court has dismissed a preliminary objection seeking to block the repossession of public land forming part of Mombasa's Moi International Airport (MIA).

Justice Stephen Kibunja, while rendering a verdict on the matter on Wednesday, said the objection was unmerited.

The court also declared a Sh984.4 million payment made the National Land Commission (NLC) for the compulsory acquisition of land in question illegal paving way for a suit to recover the funds.

The objection was filed as the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) sought to recover the parcel valued at Sh2.4 billion.

NLC made the payout after the land was acquired for Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and Dongo-Kundu Kipevu Road projects in Mombasa.

The grabbed land included sections earmarked for a new runway at MIA, a United Nation support base, a Kenyan military base and its watchtower.

EACC sued Mombasa-based East African Gas Company Limited, the current registered owner of the land in question and top officials of both NLC and the gas firm.

Individuals sued include former Managing Director of the Kenya Airports Authority Peter Kipyegon Lagat, former Commissioner of Lands Wilson Gacanja, former NLC CEO Tom Aziz Chavangi, former NLC Director of Valuation Salome Munubi and eight others.

EACC also sued Joshua Chelelgo Kulei, Caroline Jebet Kigen and Kipkurui Kimosop being directors of East African Gas Company Limited.

The anti-graft agency noted that the dishonest acquisition of the parcel deprived the government a strategic asset lauding the move to allow the case to proceed to its logical conclusion.

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