I'm a very patriotic Kenyan and indeed extremely passionate about my country. One of the most significant holidays we celebrate in this country is Kenyatta Day. I don't have much to say about this holiday, just a note from our Facebook site (The Insyder Magazine on Facebook) that I saw earlier today. Even any of you know Uhuru (or any brat from the Kenyatta family, please hook them up with this story)...
We got this from the Mars Group website (www.marsgroupkenya.org)
The growing land crisis in the country, experts say, will be difficult to solve because the most powerful people in the country are also among its biggest landowners. However, as we celebrate Kenyatta Day, one of Kenya’s biggest land owners can help alleviate this crisis somewhat. The Kenyatta family should mark the day named after their patriarch, by donating some of the land they own to landless Kenyans.
When you consider how much land Kenya’s first family really own, it’s actually not too much of a request.
The Genesis of the Kenyatta Family Land Ownership
During Kenyatta’s 15-year tenure in State House, there was an elaborate scheme funded by the World Bank and the British Government, the Settlement Transfer Fund Scheme, under which the family “legally” acquired large pieces of land all over the country. Yaani, the World Back and the former colonial government funded the ‘Settlement Transfer Fund Scheme’ which was supposed to “buy” back land stolen by the colonial British government and give it back to Kenyans. Somehow, the Kenyatta family ended up owning hundreds of thousands of acres of land through this scheme.
The Kenyatta Family Land Ownership Breakdown
1. The extended Kenyatta family alone owns an estimated 500,000 acres of land in Kenya.
NB: Most of the holders of the huge parcels of land are concentrated within the 17.2 % part of the country that is arable. The remaining 80 % is mostly arid and semi arid land.
According to the Kenya Land Alliance, more than a half of the arable land in the country is in the hands of only 20 per cent of the 30 million Kenyans. That has left up to 13 per cent of the population absolutely landless while another 67 per cent on average own less than an acre per person.
2. The Kenyatta family also owns 24, 000 acres in Taveta sub-district (adjacent to the 74, 000 acres owned by former MP Basil Criticos).
3. Others are 50, 000 acres in Taita that is currently under Mrs Beth Mugo, Minister for Public Health & Sanitation and niece of the first President
4. They also own 29, 000 acres in Kahawa Sukari along the Nairobi Thika highway
5. 10, 000 acre Gichea Farm in Gatundu
6. A 5, 000 acre tract of land in Thika
7. 9,000 acres in Kasarani
8. 5, 000-acre Muthaita Farm.
9. The Brookside Farm, Green Lee Estate, Njagu Farm all in Juja (size unknown)
10. A quarry in Dandora in Nairobi
11. A 10, 000-acre ranch in Naivasha
12. A 52,000-acre farm in Nakuru
13. A 20,000-acre one, also known as Gichea Farm, in Bahati under Kenyatta’s daughter, Margaret
14. A 10, 000 acre farm in Rumuruti owned by former first lady Mama Ngina
15. A 40,000 acre farm in Endebes, Rift Valley Province
16. A 1,000-acre farm in Dagoretti owned by Kenyatta’s first wife Wahu
The acreage quoted in this report (Mars Group report) is not extracted from official government records there are none and those that exist are scattered and some cases incomplete but are estimates based on close to a year of interviews with farm staff, independent surveyors, Ministry of Lands experts and land rights NGOs.
Under President Kenyatta, most of the power wielders either formed or were associated with land buying companies through which they acquired huge chunks of land around the country, especially at the Coast and in Rift Valley. They took most of the land previously owned by the former white settlers, which had initially been earmarked for resettling those who had been turned into squatters by the colonial land policies.
Try and enjoy your Kenyatta Day.