By CHRISPINUS WEKESA, published in THE STAR
Nakuru East MP David Gikaria has denied demanding Sh40 million from private developers embroiled in a tussle over ownership of a school land.
The legislator dismissed the allegations contained in a letter by the investors to the Ombudsman, Inspector General and Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa).
In the letter, Nairobi businessmen Ibrahim Issak and Adan Maalim Mursal, accused the MP of soliciting the cash or two acres of the parcel.
The incentives, in the allegations, would be for Gikaria to cede ground on the land row.
But the legislator told Star on the phone that he will not stop pushing for the restoration of the said parcel to Naka Primary School.
He said the allegations were “fabricated lies” meant to tarnish his reputation.
“The land belongs to the school. The fellows were illegally allocated the parcel,” Gikaria said.
He added that that he has two plots in Nakuru town which were given to him by his parents and that he cannot demand part of school land.
“I have money to buy land. I don’t grab. I have fought hard and will continue to fight in order for the land to go back to the school,” Gikaria said.
The MP said he is ready to fight the developers, who have claimed ownership of the 10-acre piece land which is next to the school, in court.
This is the height of the controversy that surrounds the ownership of the property in Nakuru.
In March, the National Lands Commission weighed in and said that the contested parcel does not belong to Naka primary school, leaving the government institution with only one and a half acre.
The Commission said that after examining all the circumstances, the land does not belong to the school since it has not been grabbed.
The Mohamed Swazuri team said the parcel was legally allocated to the first owner Hyrax Developers.
Area leaders have asked the EACC and the NLC to revoke the land title deed saying it was grabbed by Issak and Mursal.
In his letter to Naka primary school, the Nakuru County government and Naka residents, Swazuri said he empathizes with them since the land does not belong to the school.
Swazuri added that it will be wrong to say the land belongs to the school yet the court has in the past ten years determined and given two rulings that it doesn’t.
The courts had ruled that the parcel was legally sold to Hyrax Limited who later sold it to Pyboard limited before it would be sold to the private developers.
The businessmen told the Star that they bought the land from the pyrethrum board of Kenya in 2010.
They said the purchase was done after the board had bought the land from Hyrax developers limited, further tabling documents to prove ownership of the land.
The businessmen accused area leaders including area MP David Gikaria of inciting the public against them that they are land grabbers.
According to a search at the lands office in Nakuru, the land belonged to Hyrax developers limited in 1998.
On July 27, 1999, it was sold the the Pyboard Housing Cooperative society .
However, the Nakuru municipal council sued the pyboard housing cooperative society in 1999, claiming ownership of the land.
Justice Luka Kimaru, in civil case number 348 of 1999, ruled on January 16, 2008 in favour of Pyboard, that the land belongs to the latter and not the Nakuru municipal council.
The council lost an appeal on the matter on July 10, 2009.
According to the documents seen by the Star, the Pyboard management in 2010 advertised for the sale of the land in the local dailies.
The businessmen told the Star that it was after seeing the advertisement that they expressed interest to buy the land.
The documents show that on October 29, 2010, a council meeting in which David Gikaria who is the current area MP was a member, resolved that the council longer has any dispute with Pyboard Housing cooperative society over the plot.
The other resolutions were that Naka primary school shall retain its parcel of land which is adjacent to the disputed plot.