Down the Memory Lane with Land Grabbers and Dynasties


By Kenya Confidential Political Editor, Nairobi May 21, 2020

The combined acreage of all the land owned by the Kenyatta family is said to be equal to Nyanza province, political analysts say. Nyanza Province was one of Kenya’s eight administrative provinces before the formation of the 47 counties under the 2010 constitution

Amongst the biggest landowners in Kenya are Andrew Cole, a White Kenyan, 7th Earl of Enniskillen and one time Chairman of Kenya Airways – now the current Lord Enniskillen, The Rt. Hon. Hugh George Cholmondeley, also a White Kenyan, 5th Baron Delamere, Soysambu, Kenya now the current Lord Delamere, and Kenyatta family, given the high aristocratic type stature, wealth and large land holdings by the  family in Kenya. 

In the Nairobi and peri-urban Nairobi of the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s, you would have been regarded as “mad” acquiring land in places like Ruai, Ongata Rongai, Kiserian, Ngong, Kasarani, Kahawa, Githurai, Kitengela and Syokimau, and today in the year 2020, there are many, including Kenyatta family, former MPs Nairobi and City Hall councillors, who still continue to benefit from that “madness” of the 1960s, the 1970s and early 1980s. 

Deputy President William Ruto has just been evicted from 3,000 acres of the Capital City Sewarage land he grabbed in 1996. Hundreds of other Kenyans are also being evicted from outlaying County of Nairobi land on which they had been settled by politicians without title deeds.

Ruai evictee from Nairobi Sewerage extension land allocated by politicians

Borrowing from this, maybe many Kenyans now in the year 2020, should also become “mad” and start acquiring pieces of land in areas that many do not give a 2nd thought like land on the Nairobi – Namanga Road towards Lake Magadi, and even further down south towards Namanga on the Kenya – Tanzania border, because it looks like Nairobi could extend as far as the Kenya – Tanzania border in the next 35 to 40 years.  

The Delameres currently own about 70,000 acres of land in Soysambu, Kenya, the Enniskillens also currently own about 70,000 acres of land, not far from the Delameres, and according to an article published by the media in the year 2002.

Much of the focus is the land owned by the Kenyatta family that includes Taita Taveta Farm (74,000 acres), Kahawa Sukari Farm (29,000 acres), Gatundu Farm, Thika Farm, Brookside Farm, Muthaita Farm, Green Lee Estate, Njagu Farm in Juja, Kasarani Farm (9,000 acres), Nakuru Farm in Rongai near Moi’s Home, a quarry in Dandora, Naivasha Ranch and several farms in Nairobi. 

The combined acreage of all the land owned by the Kenyatta family is said to be equal to Nyanza province, political analysts say. Nyanza Province was one of Kenya’s eight administrative provinces before the formation of the 47 counties under the 2010 constitution. Six counties were organised in the area of the former province with a total area of 12,477 square kilometres.

The claim that Kenyatta’s family owns as much land as was Nyanza Province was a very convenient political agitation for Nyanza residents, then the Luo Nyanza and Kisii Nyanza, against the Kikuyu in general. The land mass covering 12,477 square kilometres is equivalent to 3,083,133.8 acres that far outstrips any wild dream of Kenyatta family land ownership. 

That however, is not to say the Kenyatta family does now own land unjustifiably acquired when the President was Kenya’s landlord and grabbed or distributed the natural resource as he wished. The same was enjoyed by President Daniel arap Moi.

A more realistic estimate by Ndung’u report says the family of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s George Washington, sits on half a million acres, while his successor, Daniel Arap Moi, holds more than 100,000 acres. President Mwai Kibaki owns about 30,000 acres, according to local reports.

Moi land ownership includes 9,000 acres he grabbed atop Mau Forest Complex to grow tea and build Kapkatet factory after invading the peripheries of many other forests with the so-called Nyayo tea zones, which saw massive destruction of natural forests resources. The appetite for forest destruction also saw Moi’s son Jonathan grab 1,000 acres of Ngong forests in the periphery of capital city of Nairobi.

The 1,000-acres of Ngong Forest title was registered to Ankhan Holdings a firm owned by Jonathan Moi, Sammy Boit Kogoand Hubert Mwakibwa. President Moi’s Environment Ministry wrote to the commissioner of lands to say that that it had no objection to this parcel being released from Public Domain. Who would have stood in the way of Moi’s first-born son as abeneficiary? Who would go against the head of state and the appointing authority, in the thick of a dictatorship? 

The Craig family of Kenya, who are close to the British Royal Family, are also other prominent land owners in Kenya, said to own ranches in Laikipia and Nanyuki, and where members of the British Royal Family spend nights and weekends when they are in Kenya – that is the Craig family ranches in Laikipia and Nanyuki.

And it’s not just the Delameres, the Enniskillens, the Kenyattas and the Craigs, who are large landowners in Kenya, because there are several wealthy Whites in Kenya, of British, European or American descent, who own large ranches and huge parcels f land in Kenya.

For instance, it is also possible that Information and Communications (ICT) legend and Microsoft Computers Founder Bill Gates owns a ranch or two in Kenya, because Bill Gates, now faced with Coronavirus scandal, is said to love Kenya, and is also said to make several private incognito visits to Kenya. 

After hosting Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO od Facebook in 2016, Kenya hosted Bill Gates, then world’s richest according to Forbes. Kenya also played host of two other billionaires David Rockefeller and Strive Masiyiwa who came to the country for a major Agriculture forum

Paul Allen, one time Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) under Bill Gates, also loves it here in Kenya and appears to own a property at the Kenyan coast in the name of Paul Allen’s private luxury yatch that was sighted at the Kenyan coast in 2008.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi also owns a resort (very likely more than one), in Malindi at Kenya’s Coast, and is a frequent visitor to Kenya. Flavio Briatore, another Italian billionaire and Formula I team owner, also has properties in Malindi, and like Berlusconi, is a frequent visitor to Kenya – mostly incognito.

The British and Americans were smart lot, they laid their groundwork early by sealing “land treaties” early, when we Native Blacks were still saying the “prayers and rasping rosaries,” with eyes closed, that the Missionaries taught them when they first landed in East Africa. Kenyatta said after coming with a Bible at hand and asking the Africans to shut their eyes, after the prayers, the British had land titles and the Blacks the Bible.

For example, Commissioner (Sir) Arthur Hardinge, on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, meets Laibon Lenana at Ngong in the year 1898. Hardinge and Lenana sign “deals and land treaties,” a “Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)” if you will. What were the contents of the MOU, and where is the original MOU? The MOU must be in a “bomb proof” safe in a secret location in the world. Did illiterate Laibon Lenana understand a single word in the treaties?

Maybe we will see the Hardinge – Laibon Lenana MOU one day, and see an impression of Laibon Lenana’s thumbprint, and if not us, our descendants.

Before Sir Arthur Hardinge and Laibon Lenana met in 1898, Frederick Lugard, on behalf of the Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEA), met with Chief Waiyaki wa Hinga, where a similar MOU was sealed. The Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEA), was actually just a front for the British Crown – Frederick Lugard effectively, was representing Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and not the Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEA).

After Lugard and Hardinge, then immediate former US President Col. Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt was in Kenya on a nine month safari in 1909, yes nine months. Teddy Roosevelt was a prospector, a businessman and a speculator, who once moved from one end of the United States to the other – from New York to California, in  the US east coast to the US west coastrespectively. Teddy Roosevelt, at the time, had joined the “gold rush” bandwagon to California, in search of “greener pastures in the new lands in Western America.”

Col. Roosevelt had experience with “new lands” and how to acquire holdings in “new lands.” And who was it that were dispossessed of their lands in Western America by the likes of Col. Roosevelt and company? Native American Indians.

Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt on horseback in Kenya in 1909-1910

So when Col. Roosevelt was in Kenya for nine months sojourn in 1909, it is doubtful his only interest was to visit Masai Mara National Park, Tsavo National Park & Amboseli National Park. Mind you Col. Roosevelt did not come to Kenya alone in 1909, he came with “a high powered American delegation,” comprising seasoned operatives and businessmen.

Col. Roosevelt and his entourage did however visit the American missionaries at Kijabe, who are still there to this day and who still run the likes of the famous Kijabe Mission Hospital and the equally famous Rift Valley Academy (RVA), and while at Kijabe, Col. Roosevelt must have emphasised to the American missionaries to continue teaching us to close our eyes as we “prayed” – the saying that the White man came to Africa with the Bible in one hand, and a gun in the other, which actually aptly fits Col. Roosevelt as a former Colonel in the US Army.

Mind you, three different generations of Roosevelts have visited Kenya after 1909, the most recent publicised Roosevelt visit being was in 1994. It appears that the Roosevelts’ have interests in Kenya dating back to Col. Roosevelt’s famous nine month safari of 1909. Which Kenyan has cared to did out that?

Enter Jomo Kenyatta on 12th December 1963, and it is hard not to see that Jomo Kenyatta continued from where Frederick Lugard, Sir Arthur Hardinge, Col. Teddy Roosevelt, the initial Delameres, the initial Enniskillens and the initial Craigs left off.

It is certain that Jomo Kenyatta must have been “coached and trained” on the tactics employed by Frederick Lugard, Sir Arthur Hardinge, Col. Teddy Roosevelt, the initial Delameres, the initial Enniskillens, the initial Craigs and quite a number of others when he took the reigns of power by the departing colonialists – selling back the land they never bought.

Additionally, the British Royal Family, a cross section of British aristocrats aside from the British Royal Family, and a small clique of wealthy Americans who Col. Roosevelt clearly paved the way for, are said to own massive land holdings all across Kenya, including Northern Kenya, Rusinga Island, and the Kenyan coast, that far surpass the combined land holdings of the Delameres, the Enniskillens, the Craigs, the Kenyattas, the Mois, the Kibakis. The Delameres the Enniskillens, the Kenyattas and the Craig’s are just four members of a much larger tribe of big land owners in Kenya.

Then there is the British Army Base in Nanyuki. The British Army Base in Nanyuki appears to be a front or a standby “Police Station” for wealthy land owners in Kenya, to guard against forced land invasions and confiscations, like those that happened in Zimbabwe in the year 2000.

At the height of invasions on White owned ranches in Nanyuki and Laikipia in 2018 when local Kenyan herders, during the drought of 2018, forced their way onto ranches in Laikipia and Nanyuki that had water reservoirs and pasture, then British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson – the current British Prime Minister, briefly visited Kenya, briefly met President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi, and then flew to the British Army Base in Nanyuki.

Johnson’s brief 2018 visit to Kenya was largely kept quiet by local Kenyan media and international media, but it is hard not to make a connection between Johnson’s brief visit to Kenya in 2018, the invasions on ranches in Laikipia and Nanyuki at the time, and Johnson’s visit to the British Army Base in Nanyuki.

Amongst the few photographs, was one of Johnson in very dusty shoes, and his semi-dusty suit, meaning that Johnson must have taken a good walk around some of the affected ranches. Boris Johnson was clearly here on a working tour of duty, not a working holiday.

Boris Johnson came to Kenya over British landowners security

Additionally, and to check on their interests here in Kenya, Anglo-Saxons, Caucasians, theAmericans,Orientals, Israelis, Russians and other nationalities, have all manner of “fronts” here in Kenya. 

For example many of the so-called Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and many of the so called Missionaries/Church Organisations situated in all corners of Kenya, including the most remote corners of Kenya, are actually undercover intelligence organisations with undercover intelligence personnel, which is why the Occident and the Orient has first hand information of what goes on in Kenya, a good example being the Post Election Violence of the years 2007 and 2008.

First hand information and intelligence on the Post Election Violence of 2007 and 2008 came from NGOs. It was not from Kenyan Intelligence, it was from the many NGOs and Missionaries/Church Organisations across Kenya – “In the name of the father, of the son, of the holy spirit, and intelligence gathering.” 

Many of these “priests” and “missionaries” are actually agents of of Mossad, MI6, the CIA, and SKG (what used to be known as the KGB), some of whom have even served with “Special Forces/Special Units” such as “Delta Force” and “Seal Team Six.”

As this East African nation struggles with food shortages, a sluggish economy and wounds from post-election violence, there’s a growing consensus that one issue that rests at the heart of Kenya’s woes, is land distribution.

All across Africa, battles over land continue to simmer, largely a fallout of European colonialism. During most of Africa’s history, sparse population and tribal traditions meant land was plentiful and disputes were rare. Colonialists introduced alien concepts such as borders and private ownership. 

Since independence began to sweep the continent 50 years ago, fledgling African governments have struggled to unwind injustices, sometimes with disastrous results. The Zimbabwean economy was devastated by President Robert Mugabe’s campaign to seize and redistribute land owned by white farmers.

Kenya suffered a similar colonial legacy, but took a different route. As is the case in many African nations, more than half of Kenya’s land is owned by a minority of its richest families, including some white foreigners. But unlike Zimbabwe and South Africa, where the struggle has pitted whites against blacks, the land here is owned mostly by Kenyan politicians who have grabbed millions of prime agricultural acres in questionable real estate deals over the last 45 years.

“This is really an issue between us as Kenyans,” said Paul Ndungu, head of a landmark 2004 report that investigated more than 40 years of land fraud. “It’s Kenyan versus Kenyan.”

Last word

Ethnic cleansing is beckoning in the Rift Valley.

Ethnic chaos rooted in land disputes

Ethnic clashes that killed more than 1,500 people after the disputed presidential election in December 2007, were rooted largely in historic disputes over land. It is because of huge land ownership that some prominent politicians are called dynasties along with their children. that is what Susan Kihika is learning despite glueing herself onto Ruto camp hoping to be spared should a repeat of ethnic massacre erupt.

As Kenya struggles to feed its people, vast swaths of its most productive terrain sit idle and underutilized — and the land grievances remain unresolved.