KWS land grabbed
It was alleged that the land was excised for the construction of a petrol station. [ Photo - Boniface Mwangi / Twitter

Activist Boniface Mwangi on July 9th 2021 kicked off a storm with a tweet on alleged land-grabbing on the Southern Bypass.  He wrote, “On the Southern bypass is government land owned by @kwskenya. Someone in government is grabbing it. Kwa ground watu wanasema ni (on the ground people say it is) church elder @FredMatiangi……”

Mwangi claimed Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi had grabbed the land, which he said belonged to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), a government agency. Several tweets and retweets followed and even some bloggers picked up the issue. It was alleged that the land was excised for the construction of a petrol station.

Business Today has looked into the land in question and found that it does not belong to KWS. The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has denied it owns the land alleged to have been grabbed.

“KWS wishes to clarify that the land in question is not the Service’s land,” said KWS corporate communications office when reached for clarification. “We urge members of the public to ignore the misleading claims. The Service reiterates its commitment to protect and preserve all the land it holds in trust for all Kenyans.”

KWS posted the same statement on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The ownership of the land remains shrouded in secrecy, though.

VERDICT: The report that Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiangi has grabbed KWS land has been denied by KWS itself and is thus FAKE.

[This story was produced by Business Today in partnership with Code for Africa’s iLAB data journalism programme, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie ]

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