The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has recovered Sh150 million worth of stolen land in Nakuru from a former aide-de-camp to the late President Daniel arap Moi.
The anti-corruption agency won a land recovery case brought in the Nakuru Environment and Land Court against the former President’s former aide de camp Alexander Sitieney and former Commissioner of Lands Wilson Gachanja on Friday.
The land was taken from the Pyrethrum Processing Corporation of Kenya, situated near Nakuru.
“The court has determined that Mr. Sitieney’s purchase of the subject property was illegal, irregular, and non-procedural,” reads a portion of Judge Anthony Ombwayo’s ruling.
The court further ordered for the rectification of the land register by the cancellation of the lease, certificate of the lease, and all entries on the land register pertaining to the parcel of land held or made in favour of Mr Sitieney, so as to return the suit property to the Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya, the land’s rightful owner.
“An order of permanent injunction is hereby issued against Alexander Kipngetich Sitieney, his agents, servants, or assigns prohibiting them from leasing, transferring, charging, taking possession, or dealing with Nakuru Municipality Block 8/30 in any manner other than by transfer, delivery up, or surrender to the Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya,” said Justice Ombwayo.
The premium property is located adjacent to the headquarters of the Pyrethrum Processing Corporation in Nakuru City.
According to court documents, the EACC asserted that in 2018, through its South Rift Regional Office in Nakuru, the anti-corruption agency received a complaint from the Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya regarding the alleged irregular alienation of 0.7024 ha of government land that was initially owned by the Pyrethrum Board of Kenya.
According to EACC, Mr. Sitieney bought the land illegally in 1996.
The anti-corruption bureau told the court that in or around 1996, Mr. Sitieney fraudulently and improperly obtained a lease for the subject property.
A portion of the court documents reads, “The lease was purportedly registered at the District Land Registry in Nakuru on May 29, 1998, and a certificate of the lease was issued to him the same day, without the knowledge or consent of the Pyrethrum Processing Company of Kenya, the registered owner of the land.”
The court further heard that on January 23, 1998, Mr. Wilson Gachanja, the then-Commissioner of Lands, improperly forced a lease to be issued and registered in Mr. Sitieney’s name, ostensibly according to a letter of allotment. This was despite the fact that the property was intended and reserved for use as a public utility by the Pyrethrum Processing Corporation of Kenya at all relevant times.
EACC investigations revealed that the Pyrethrum Processing Corporation of Kenya was in possession of the land prior to its alienation.
The site was utilised as a demonstration field for farmers and also to dry pyrethrum.
In 2021, the EACC filed a lawsuit against Mr Sitieney and former Commissioner of Lands Wilson Gachanja in an effort to retrieve the multimillion-dollar property.
The EACC requested that the allocation and registration of the land be declared illegal, null, and void.