The Lands ministry has issued a new title deed for a medical research centre land in Kirinyaga that is at the heart of a bitter fallout between Interior PS Karanja Kibicho and Governor Anne Waiguru.
This leaves the county chief, who has resisted a push to surrender the land to Kenya Medical Research Institute(Kemri), holding a dud title deed.
The new title was issued on April 16 and bears the Kemri name.
Reading politics in the push to surrender the title, Waiguru registered the land under the county, effectively stalling a project at the site.
On Monday, Gichugu MP Gichimu Githinji and his Kirinyaga Central counterpart Munene Wambugu while visiting the stalled Sh15 million project assured residents everything was now on course and the contractor would be back to the site soon.
“Had this stalled project been completed we would have been the first county to produce the much-required face masks as well at the forefront carrying out research on Covid-19,” said Wachira.
The project will comprise a research centre, a university and a Level Six hospital.
New title issued Responding to Waiguru, Kibicho at the time, said as professionals who understood the importance and significance of a research centre, they could not allow any individuals to foolishly derail the project.
He asked his Land’s counterpart Joseph Muraguri to ensure a new title was issued in place of the one the county government had refused to hand over to Kemri.
On Monday, three local legislators displayed to the media a copy of the document at the site and hailed the government’s move to issue the new title to Kemri.
The former county administration had in 2015 issued a land lease to Kemri which was later cancelled by the current administration, which stood its ground not to hand over the 100 acres to Kemri unless the institute agreed to hive off 30 acres.
The administration also wanted an MoU between it and Kemri before it could surrender the document.
On learning the county administration was derailing the project, area legislators led by Mwea MP Wachira demanded Waiguru releases the title unconditionally.