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Lawyers for homeowners ‘sweat’ during probe on grabbed KAA land

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Lawyers representing alleged owners of thousands of acres belonging to the Kenya Airports Authority on Wednesday had rough time demonstrating how their clients acquired their land titles inside the JKIA.

Trouble started after some of the lawyers were completely unable to categorically narrate to National Land Commission how their clients acquired land titles and where the parcels of land are.

NLC started unravelling the circumstances under which 11,551 acres got into private hands at their Bishop House annexes.

During the highly charged and emotive hearing that was presided over by NLC Vice Chairperson Abigael Mukolwe, some of the lawyers agreed to advise their clients to take the short route and take up a sublease.

Most lawyers said their clients legally acquired their parcels and as such, they must be compensated.

“A lot of titles are on top of KAA. The government acquired this land for the expansion of the airport and as such, it was not available for allocation, “Mukolwe told one of the lawyers.

Mukolwe told most of the lawyers who wanted their clients to be compensated that “their titles were fatally flawed” attracting a barrage of responses from lawyers who accused NLC of having made its mind.

Commissioners Ema Njogu, Rose Musyoka and Samuel Tororei were present.

“The commission should give us time to state how our clients acquired land but it seems you have made up your minds,” Nicholas Nyamai appearing for one of his clients told the commission adding that the land in question in was available for allocation in 1992.

Nyamai took the commissioners in shock when he told them that KAA was not government parastatal.

“You know the overriding interest is always the public, I’m trying to remind you some of the lessons and whatever KAA holds belongs to the government,” Commissioner Ema told Nyamai.

KAA lawyer James Nyiha said they do not know where those claiming land came from.

“We are seeing some of the documents for the first time,” Nyiha told the Commission.

Nyiha advised those claiming ownership to approach KAA management and request for sublease.

He said the expansion of airport needs more land that is now grabbed.

A sublease is an inferior interest to a lease.

KAA holds a lease of 99 years while those claiming ownership have a lease of 99 from 1999.

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