High ranking politicians, senior government officials and some business personalities have greatly been mentioned in Ngong Forest land’s saga.
Former politician-turned business personalities including former Kiambaa MP Stanley Munga Githunguri, former Konoin MP Samuel Koech and current Bahati MP and close ally of Deputy President William Ruto Onesmus Kimani Ngunjiri are some of the politicians mentioned in a list released by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry on Friday as having benefited from the irregular allocations of the undegazetted Ngong forest land.
Mr Koech was most probably the biggest individual beneficiary, with an allocation of 132 acres in 1998. Most of this land has since been sold off to other buyers over the years.
Ngunjiri is said to hold 18.24 acres of the forest land and Mr Githunguri 9.24 acres allocated in 1978.
A former board member of the Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Maj Gen Njoroge is also a holder of the purported titles of land appropriated from the forest’s land.
Others named on the list are Emos Muyaa, Jane Nduku, Peter M, M.K Melil, James Mureithi, M.G.L. Aluoch, P. Kamuithi, L. Yatich, Zipporah Wangithi, D.M. Marindamy, S. Bundotich, Dr.Baksh, J.Sigei, J.N Mauki and D.M Kimoro.
Other allottees are hidden under shadowy company names, including some whose names have only been revealed due to ongoing legal battles over the sale of the questionably acquired land.
These include Ankhan Holdings – a company associated with Jonathan Moi, Sammy Boit Kogo and Hubert Nyambu Mwakibwa, which received 1,000 acres in 1992.
The ownership of Ankhan Holdings was only revealed through court proceedings and documents used to give the firm ownership of the land. The land, which was later sold to the National Social Security Fund, has been at the centre of a court battle after the Kenya Forest Service made advances to repossess it.
DP Ruto and former President Daniel Arap Moi’s personal assistant Joshua Kulei are said to have allegedly sold part of the forest to the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC).
A former lands commissioner, Sammy Mwaita, was accused alongside Ruto and Kulei of defrauding KPC of Sh272 million through sale of undegazetted forest near Bomas of Kenya.
At gazettement, in 1932, the forest measured 7,231.6 acres, at independence in 1964 it had shrunk by nearly half to 3,722.5 acres due to further excisions, and then by 1978 it had contracted even more to 3,283.27 acres.
Now the government has said it plans to revoke all documents issued after the 1978 legal notice.
Churches with land inside the forest including Nairobi Chapel, Mugumoini PCEA church and St Francis ACK Church have not been spared in the purge either.
According to the ministry, illegal allocations were done by the commissioner of lands. The allocations were also recommended for revocation by the Ndung’u Report.
Environment CS Keriako Tobiko, during an aerial tour of the Ngong Road forest last week said state agencies had also been used as conduits to receive land that was also sold off to individuals.