RAPID-RESPONSE DRIVE

Grabbed Kiambu public utilities to be reclaimed — CS

Many parcels haven't been titled for 50 years; 40% of country is untitled

In Summary

• Land to be surveyed and titles to be issued. Staff to wear numbered badges to weed out conmen.

• Exercise will eradicate rampant fraud and expedite the issuance of title deeds, especially to land for schools, hospitals, markets, social halls and police stations.

Lands CS Farida Karoney with Ruiru MP Simon King'ara serving a resident after the official opening of a month-long lands clinic in Ruiru town.
GIVE IT UP: Lands CS Farida Karoney with Ruiru MP Simon King'ara serving a resident after the official opening of a month-long lands clinic in Ruiru town.
Image: JOHN KAMAU

The Lands ministry will reclaim all grabbed public utility land in Kiambu in a rapid-response drive.

Speaking in Ruiru during a month-long 'land clinic', Lands CS Faridah Karoney said the exercise will also eradicate rampant fraud and expedite the issuance of title deeds.

The CS said the ministry will also initiate issuing title deeds for public land including schools, parcels meant for hospitals, markets, social halls and police stations.

She said this will ward off grabbers once recovery of grabbed parcels is complete.

"There are very many cases of fraud and grabbing of public land, particularly in Ruiru and the environs, which impede the processing of titles," Karoney said.

She said the Lands ministry will work with Kiambu county and local administrators, including chiefs and their sub, to solve land disputes and expedite issuing deeds.

“Within the 30 days, we want teamwork with the county and chiefs so we can title all parcels within this region. It’s not easy because very many parcels haven’t been titled for over 50 years. Less than 40 per cent of our country is titled,” she said.

The CS appealed to those with pending land cases to withdraw them and adopt alternative dispute resolution to take precedence.

Within 30 days, we want teamwork with county and chiefs so we can title all parcels in this region. Very many parcels haven’t been titled for over 50 years. Less than 40 per cent of our country is titled
Lands CS Farida Karoney

The CS said all ministry staff will be issued with special badges and numbers to weed out conmen pretending to be land officials.

“From October all ministry staffers will be easily identifiable while on duty as they will be wearing badges and displaying service numbers so that mwananchi do not fall prey to crooks who often pose as our employees,” Karoney said.

She warned the public not to buying land from unknown sellers who operate 'under trees', saying this has been a major reason for increased land disputes.

Responding to a request by MP Simon King’ara, the CS said the government will waive survey and land registration fees and urged the public to take advantage of the waiver.

She said the ongoing digitisation process is expected to be completed by 2021 and will ensure no records are lost or stolen,  further streamline the titling process.

King’ara asked the ministry to resolve leadership wrangles pitting the management of Githunguri Constituency Ranching Company in Ruiru under the chairmanship of John Maina and a splinter Group led by Ahmed Chege 'Muislamu'.

The two factions, one led by Chege and the other led by Maina, have opened parallel offices, with each claiming to be the legitimate team.

Members have blamed the wrangles for the delayed issuance of land ownership documents as well as the increased double allocation of plots that have exacerbated land disputes.

However, according to documents seen by The Star, the office of the Registrar of Societies recognises Maina as the legitimate holder of the office of the Githunguri Ranching Company.

The MP and other leaders had told the CS that shareholders of the land-buying company had been thrown into confusion by the existence of parallel directors despite Maina's group being the one registered.

(Edited by V. Graham)