County executive put on the spot over titles delay

City Hall in the spot for charging title deed owners Sh30,000 legal fees.

In Summary

•President Uhuru Kenyatta on August 12, 2020 issued over 2,100 title deeds to landowners in the capital.

• City Hall charges Sh30,000 for legal fee in order for the title deeds to be processed, despite Uhuru saying they should be issued at government's cost.

President Uhuru Kenyatta presents a title deed to a Nairobi resident in KICC grounds, Nairobi, on Wednesday, August 19.On the the left is Governor Mike Sonko.
TITLES AT LAST: President Uhuru Kenyatta presents a title deed to a Nairobi resident in KICC grounds, Nairobi, on Wednesday, August 19.On the the left is Governor Mike Sonko.
Image: PSCU

The Nairobi county executive is yet again in the spotlight over the issuance of titles to landowners in Eastlands.

The executive is reportedly still demanding Sh30,000  processing fee from the landowners contrary to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive that the titles will be issued free of charge.

Through a statement issued in the assembly on Thursday last week, Kayole Central MCA Jeremiah Themendu asked why the residents are still being asked for the money for 'purported lawyers' to process the title deeds.

“There have been complaints from residents that they are allegedly asked for Sh30,000. It is disturbing to note that even for a section of landowners who have gone ahead and paid the said amount, they are yet to be issued with their deeds,” Themedu said.

Landowners were drawn from Kayole, Dandora, Mathare and Kariobangi, among other areas in Eastlands.

The delay is now over a month, leaving them in confusion and despair.

However, the issue of delay and residents being asked to pay the amount is not new as it was the main reason why there has been a setback in the issuance of the titles.

President Kenyatta kick-started the issuance of the titles on May 30, 2018 at Jacaranda grounds in Embakasi. At the time, he said 100,000 more titles would be released by the end of that year. That didn't happen.

This was intended to unlock business and investment worth more than Sh20 billion.

In his decree, Uhuru had firmly directed officials at City Hall and the Ministry of Lands to see to it that all the beneficiaries received their deeds at government cost-free of charge.

On August 30, the chair of Embakasi Ranch Lucy Nyokabi said 3,050 titles had been issued against a target of 28,000. She said strict Covid 19 prevention rules had partly contributed to the slow pace of titles issuance. 

Last year, Governor Sonko  told owners of 50,000 plots in Eastlands to wait as City Hall audited records for identity purposes.

As a result, MCA Themendu now wants the county assembly sectorial committee on Lands, Planning and Housing to probe the executive over the delayed disbursement of the titles and file a report.

He also wants to know why the executive is still demanding Sh30,000 despite Uhuru's order.

"We also want to know the measures the Nairobi county executive and Nairobi Metropolitan Services are putting in place to ensure the title deeds are issued to landowners/residents as intended," Themendu added.

The Lands department is domiciled under the Planning Housing sector, which is among the core functions that were transferred to NMS for effective and efficient service delivery.

The Majority leader Abdi  Guyo undertook to have a report on the matter ready for tabling in two weeks.

Edited by EKibii