Lamu MPs call for fresh land audit to end landlessness

The leaders believe the scrutiny will shine a light on the genuine squatters from imposters

In Summary
  • Currently, over 60 per cent of land in Lamu is still classified as public.
  • This means they have never been surveyed or demarcated since independence.
Nominated senator Shakilla Abdalla.
Nominated senator Shakilla Abdalla.
Lamu county leaders.
Lamu county leaders.


Lamu leaders are calling for fresh land audits in the county to effectively  end land woes that continue to plague the region.

Lamu has over the years continued to witness a growing number of squatters and landlessness following massive land grabbing that continues to be recorded in many parts of the county.

The county’s land woes can be traced back to the 60s when the then government classified all lands in the region as public lands, making them easily susceptible to grabbers and other dubious land acquisition schemes.

Currently, over 60 per cent of land in Lamu is still classified as public which literally means they have never been surveyed or demarcated since independence.

Majority of the land injustices plaguing the county date to as far back as 1908 when every piece of land in the region was listed as state land.

Back in 2015, the National government revoked ownership of 350,000 acres of lands mostly ranches in Lamu after it was established that they were irregularly acquired and ownership handed over to the county government for administration.

The plan was to resettle squatters on the lands but it is suspected that revoked lands had secretly been handed back to their owners.

Speaking on Friday, leaders led by Lamu East MP Ruweida Obbo, nominated senator Shakilla Abdalla and MCAs called for an audit into all public lands to ascertain the genuineness of ownership, and also to be able to establish suitable lands to resettle the landless.

The leaders believe the audit will also shine a light on the genuine squatters from imposters.

“This process calls for utmost transparency so that we know who are the real landless ones and who are faking it. After that, let surveys be conducted and people resettled and issued with deeds for the lands,” Abdalla said.

She said a huge chunk of those posing as squatters are actually stable people with homes and lands elsewhere.

“Such people are the reason why Lamu appears to have such a huge number of squatters when that’s not the real picture. Only an audit can bring out the truth on this,” she said.

The senator urged that native squatters be given top consideration during the resettlement process.

“It’s disappointing that most squatters here are actually non-locals. We are calling for a special committee to see to it that locals are given priority,” Abdalla said.

Obbo said a thorough audit of land records will also enable for the identification of those who were victims of historical land injustices and enable them access the much needed justice.

She called for the resettlement of the 1960s victims of the Shifta war which left thousands around the county displaced.

During the war, the government is said to have ordered the immediate dissolution of Rubu, Sendeni, Simambaye, Ashuwei,Bodhei, Ishakani, Kiunga, Mwambore and Mvundeni villages at the peak of the clashes in 1964.

During this period, thousands were rendered IDPs and forced to abandon their homes, farms, livestock and properties in search of safety and settlement in other parts of Lamu and outside counties.

“These are definitely the first set of IDPs this county ever had. My hope is that when resettlement time comes, they will come first,” Obbo said.

Notorious squatter hubs in the county include Mpeketoni, Kibaoni, and Witu, Hindi, Mkunumbi, Koreni, Mapenya and Kiunga.





-Edited by SKanyara

The Lamu county lands office in Mokowe,Lamu west.
The Lamu county lands office in Mokowe,Lamu west.
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