The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission has recovered and returned to the public 31 acres of land grabbed by private developers in the scenic Chale Island in Kwale County worth Ksh1.2 billion.
The Island is gazetted as a marine reserve and national monument of historical and cultural interest.
Speaking at the Kaya Shrines on Monday, CEO Twalib Mbarak said that the land was stolen through collusion involving public officials and private developers under the guise of a squatter settlement scheme.
During the visit, Mbarak was accompanied by several Kwale leaders including Governor Fatuma Achani and Senator Issa Boy who termed the milestone as significant in addressing the widespread land-grabbing problem in the coast region.
The grabbed land was subdivided into 49 parcels and allocated to ghost squatters, who later sold it to private developers.
In her judgment in the recovery suit delivered on 2nd October 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.
CEO 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.
With the instant recovery, the Kaya shrines at Chale Island have been restored to the Kwale community to rebuild their cultural identity.
Similarly, the preservation of Chale Island as a marine national reserve will continue under the Kenya Wildlife Service.