The largest landowners in Kenya control about half of the total arable area even as thousands of Kenyans continue to live as squatters.
According to the Kenya Land Alliance, 20% of the population own more than 65% of productive land in Kenya.
Research shows the greatest beneficiaries of land allocations were close associates of the late president’s Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Arap Moi.
A report by Forbes shows the Kenyatta Family leads the pack with over 500,000 acres of prime land across the country.
The Moi and Kibaki families follow closely with thousands of hectares located in different parts of Kenya.
A report titled ‘The aristocratic class that owns huge tracts of land in Kenya’ showed foreigners own huge chunks of land in Laikipia county.
Here are the lists of some of the largest landowners in Kenya:
1. Kenyatta Family
The Kenyatta Family owns over 500,000 acres of land across Kenya.
A CIA report made public in 2017 listed some of the huge pieces of land owned by the Kenyatta family.
It revealed Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s founding president owned about 10,000 acres spread across Kiambu and Rift Valley.
His wife Mama Ngina Kenyatta, however, was named as possessing at least 115,000 hectares (284,000 acres) including a 13,000-hectare (32,000 acres) ranch in Kiambu county.
The report said she also owned two tea plantations at Matu and Mangu, and three sisal farms near the Tanzanian border.
President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed his family possesses huge tracts of land during the 2013 presidential elections debate.
Uhuru revealed his family owns 30,000 acres of land in Taita Taveta, out of which 4,000 acres had been donated to squatters.
He denied claims the first family grabbed land across Kenya, saying they bought genuinely from willing sellers.
2. The Moi family
Daniel Arap Moi, who served as Kenya’s president from 1978 to 2002, acquired large tracts of land during his tenure in office.
List of some of the pieces of land owned by the Moi family:
- Bahati, Nakuru county – 20,000 acres
- Kabarak – 1,600 acres.
- Olenguruone, Nakuru county – 20,000 acres.
- Molo – 20,000 acres.
- Ol Pejeta – 50,000 acres.
3. Kibaki family
Retired president Mwai Kibaki who led Kenya from 2002 to 2013, has thousands of acres of land in his name.
- Nanyuki – 20,000 acres.
- Nakuru ranch – 10,000 acres (Hived for sale)
- Gingalily Farm in Nakuru – 1,200 acres.
- Igwamiti, Laikipia- 10,000 acres.
- Rumuruti – 10,000 acres.
- Ruare Ranch – 1,600 acres.
4. Kuki Gallman
The Italian-Kenyan author owns 100,000 acres of land in Laikipia, popularly referred to as the Ol Ari Nyiro Ranch.
She bought the land with her husband, Paolo Gallman, in 1974. After her husband died in 1980, she converted it into a reserve.
Kuku has set aside 2,000 acres from the land for leasing to farmers.
5. Alec and Jocelyne Wildenstein
The Wildenstein’s, who originates from France, are proud owners of the 67,000 acres Ol Jogi Conservancy in Laikipia.
The ranch has over 200 buildings and employs more than 400 workers.
About 13,000 acres of the conservancy host endangered black and white rhinos species, while a section is a home to over 2,000 indigenous Borana cattle and more than 250 camels.