Ngilu to probe land grabbed in Lamu since 1963

The government’s efforts to identify illegally acquired land in Lamu County will be extended further to include irregular transfers and acquisitions done since Kenya’s independence in 1963.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu said the government would revoke title deeds and repossess any public land found to have been acquired irregularly, irrespective of who owns it.

She said all land grabbers will be dealt with, adding that the Jubilee government had the political will to carry out the exercise that past regimes had been unable to conduct.

The Cabinet secretary did not disclose the time frame for the audit of all land transactions since independence. But she said the exercise is in the hands of investigators, who will compile their report after finishing the audit, and promised that her ministry would implement the auditors’ recommendations.

SERVING THE PUBLIC

Ms Ngilu said that between independence in 1963 and 2013, when the Jubilee government took office, only 5.5 million title deeds were issued nationwide.

“Within only a year, we have issued 1.5 million title deeds and targeting to issue 3 million in the next three years. We will do it and we have started doing it. I don’t know why Kenyans should be worried when this government has shown a lot of political good will,” she said.

Mrs Ngilu made the remarks at the Uhuru na Kazi county headquarters, where she held a one-hour closed-door meeting with land officials and Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa.

The Cabinet secretary challenged the opposition on the Lamu land saga, saying whether in government or on the other side, the objective of any leader should be serving the people.

SURVEYORS IN LAMU

“I wonder how anybody can challenge the revocation of such fraudulently acquired land. I think such a person is playing very bad politics. As we all know, conflicts in the Coast and in the country have been due to land issues,” she said.

Surveyors had already been sent to Lamu County, she said, and investigations were in top gear to establish the status of each parcel of land with the aim of repossessing it and allocating it to indigenous communities.

The chairman of the Lamu-based Shungwaya Welfare Association, Mohamed Mbwana, and Muslims for Human Rights (Muhuri) chairman Khelef Khalifa had expressed disappointment that President Kenyatta only ordered revocations of titles to land acquired since 2011.

They claimed that historical land injustices, which began in 1963, as revealed in the recommendations of the Ndung’u Commission, the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and other commissions, had not been corrected.

-nation.co.ke

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