United States International University-Africa (USIU-A) in Kenya has educated tens of thousands of students since it was established. It is a well-respected institution that offers 24 degree programs from the undergraduate to doctoral level. Its land has also just been grabbed from under it. We must act together to STOP illegal land-grabbing!
17 years ago, USIU-A purchased a 30-acre plot from an insurance agency, and built up its campus on this land. But now, a private developer is claiming "true" ownership over this same land. According to this developer, he bought the land in June 2016 from the former President of Kenya.
This type of land-grabbing is not unique in Kenya, and it has the potential to undermine human rights and destroy prosperity. Corrupt land transactions, including land-grabbing, irregular allocation or lack of title deeds, and land cartels within the authorities have become an all-too-present reality for Kenyans. Land-grabbing is based on severe disrespect for property rights, and it has severe implications for the rights of citizens and for investment. As USIU-A Vice Chancellor Professor Paul T. Zeleza says, "Grabbing resources from educational institutions is a profound assault on their ability to provide quality education."
As the USIU Africa Community, comprising students, faculty, staff, Alumni, and friends of the university, we feel that as citizens and residents of Kenya, we need to take a stand and secure our future and our land. We cannot allow corrupt interests to rob us of our education, our prosperity, and our property.
As the current custodians of USIU-Africa and our country we have a responsibility to those who will come after us. In short, both our history and future are at stake. We therefore call upon you to join us this via this online petition as we send a clear message to the Ministry of Lands & the Government of Kenya that USIU-Africa and the rest of Kenya stand resolute and strong against land grabbing.
To whom it may concern,
This letter is to bring to your attention an issue that we believe is unfair and unjust but has been prevalent in our society. This is the issue of land grabbing. Subject to Article 65 of the Constitution of Kenya, every person has the right, either individually or in association with others, to acquire and own property of any description and in any part of Kenya. However this is not always the case. Many Kenyans have faced land grabbing issues, irregular allocation or lack of title deeds.
We believe that cartels within the authorities have continued to exacerbate the situation by exploiting and taking advantage of innocent land owners who may not necessarily have the same large financial backing that most of these cartels have and it is for this reason that we as the Student Affairs Council in USIU-Africa, feel that, we as citizens and residents of Kenya need to take a stand and secure our future and our land. Land grabbing is an unacceptable act of impunity and should be condemned and resisted by all law abiding institutions and individuals. It has severe implications on the rights of corporate citizens as well as equally damaging consequences for investment when property rights are not respected.
As the current custodians of USIU-Africa and our beloved country we have a responsibility to those who will come after us. In short, both our history and future are at stake.
We therefore call upon you to join us via this online petition as we send a clear message to the Ministry of Lands & the Government of Kenya that USIU-Africa and the rest of Kenya stand resolute and strong against land grabbing.
Student Affairs Council
United States International University-Africa
P.O. Box 14634-00800, Nairobi, Kenya