The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has recovered a Ksh1.2 billion island that private developers had grabbed in Kwale County.
In a statement by the Commission on Tuesday, the private developers, while working in cohorts with scrupulous government officials, took over the ownership of Chale Island, which is gazetted as a marine reserve and national monument.
According to the EACC, the over 30-acre island was first divided among ghost squatters in a dubious squatter settlement scheme.
“The grabbed land was subdivided into 49 parcels and allocated to ghost squatters, who later sold it to private developers.
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak speaking during the recovery of the Ksh1.2 billion Chale Island in Kwale County on October 9, 2023.
“In her judgment in the recovery suit delivered on October 2, 2023, Lady Justice Addreya Dena of the Kwale Environment and Land Court nullified all the transactions leading to the illegal land transfers and ordered the Kwale District Land Registrar to cancel all illegal entries in the Register,” read the statement in part.
EACC CEO Twalib Mbarak, who led a team in the recovery of the land, indicated that the island had been restored to the Kwale community, given that a shrine exists in the land.
Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) will also undertake the island’s restoration as a marine reserve.
“Mbarak warned against re-grabbing of the recovered Island in light of the prevailing challenge where corrupt public officials collude with new grabbers to fraudulently re-allocate public assets recovered by EACC,” read the statement in part.
Also present during the recovery were area Governor Fatuma Achani and Senator Issa Boy.
In recent years, the cost region has been marred with numerous land-grabbing cases as private developers seek to build hotels in the area, which is among the favourite destination points for tourists owing to the sandy beaches and the ocean.
For instance, developers at Chale Island had put up a 75-bed capacity resort and were charging Ksh40,000 per night for its guests.
The island recovery also comes days after the Ksh305 million Kisite Island was recovered from three companies.
The coastal reefs at Chale Islands in Kwale County.