Fresh details have emerged on the circumstances that led to three companies accused of grabbing an island in Kwale County to surrender the property valued at Ksh305 million.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission officer who worked on the case, Abdi Mohamed, the case was particularly unique as it marked the first time the commission recovered entire island.
According to the case officer, titles to the 3 parcels were acquired irregularly in the 1990s after which unscrupulous businessmen sold them to companies owned by foreigners.
Following this development, the company directors then sued Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) claiming legal ownership of the land.
One of them wanted to put up an airstrip on the land.
A protracted court battle ensued but the directors lost the case which caught the attention of sleuths at EACC investigators.
After conducting investigations on the ownership of the island, the Commission went after the companies in question which resulted in three of them handing over their title deeds.
"People will try to do all manner of things and we are not saying we will completely finish corruption in Kenya, what we are saying is, let's do our bit to ensure we reduce (corruption). Even if we reduce by 10 per cent, well and good," Mohammed noted.
EACC is now preparing to initiate investigations into another company that holds the title to an adjacent island.
The three companies returned the title deeds to the island in an out-of-court settlement they reached at with EACC through the Commission’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism.
"The Commission encourages all other persons illegally holding public property to take advantage of the ADR mechanism to resolve disputes as opposed to waiting for a lengthy and costly litigation process," read a statement from EACC at the time.
The land will be reverted back to KWS after the process of canceling the current titles is completed.
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