The Acting Managing Director of Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) Samuel Maina has revealed to Parliament that the national broadcaster does not own the land on which its headquarters sits, opposite Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi.
Maina stated that an audit report showed that the land is not registered under the Corporation’s name but under a different name.
The national broadcaster’s boss was appearing before the Public Investments Committee on Social Services Administration and Agriculture, to explain details about parcels of land owned by the State Corporation.
Samuel Maina, Acting Managing Director of KBC, appearing before the Public Investments Committee on Social Services Administration and Agriculture, 2023
Parliament of Kenya
The committee sought answers on why KBC had acquired only 8 title deeds out of the 40 parcels of land they own, highlighting that it was hard to confirm the status of ownership of the land.
“Today as we speak, it is difficult to tell how much land KBC owns and how secure the land is. A report for the period covering the years 2010/2011 cited a lack of titles, yet 12 years down the line, there is still no progress to remedy the situation. These revelations are a threat to government land”, stated Hon. Emanuel Wangwe, the committee chair.
The parliament committee further questioned why KBC did not provide ten parcels of land for auditing.
In response, the MD assured the lawmakers that the corporation is currently securing titles to many of their pieces of land.
“Chair, we have fenced our land and also provided police protection. We do this because we have transmitters on this land. For instance, our Jamuhuri, Meru, and Nyambene parcels of land are well secured”, stated the MD.
However, he also noted that the national broadcaster is in land ownership tussles with squatters who have encroached on their land parcels in Nyali and Komarock along Kangundo road, measuring 23 acres and 1200 acres respectively.
Further, he explained that KBC is also in a dispute currently in court with Housing Finance, to whom the Sauti House land in Mombasa was partly sold.
When questioned about the utilization of land, the MD pointed out that KBC has been leasing parcels of land in Kitale at Kshs 12,000 per acre and in Morania in Meru county Kshs. 38,000 per acre, for agricultural activities.
The Emanuel Wangwe-led committee further tasked the MD to explain why KENGEN had not returned generators valued at Kshs 29 million, received on loan from the broadcaster.
In response, the MD stated that the Corporation’s board of directors had approved a write-off for the loans.
However, the committee faulted that decision, highlighting the Public Procurement and Management (Pfm) Act which requires the approval of the National Treasury for a write-off to be effected.
Consequently, the parliamentary committee asked the MD to return before them, accompanied by KBC’s Board of Management for further explanation.
A photo of the studios at KBC Nairobi