200 PER CENT RATES INCREASE

200 grabbed plots to be repossessed as Nandi orders fresh land survey

Executive Lagat says move is part of reforms to streamline management

In Summary

An Ardhi House to established in Kapsabet town where all information on land will be centralised and digitised

The Nandi county lands office in Kapsabet on September 26, 2019
REFORMS: The Nandi county lands office in Kapsabet on September 26, 2019
Image: BY MATHEWS NDANYI

 

Nandi has ordered a fresh survey of lands in the region in what the county government says is aimed at improving management.

The county has also issued a notice to grabbers of more than 200 public plots to surrender the parcels or they be forcefully repossed.

Lands executive Kiplimo Lagat on Wednesday said the move is part of reforms aimed at creating a new database for lands.

The county has already established a Geographical Information System (GIS) and a consulting firm was working on a special plan for the county, including a master plan for both Kapsabet and Nandi Hills towns.

“We are instituting far-reaching reforms in the land sector in order to enhance efficiency in the management of land matters,” Lagat said.

The county has already announced an increment of 200 per cent on land rates. The new levies will mostly affect owners of multinational tea estates.

Nandi has more than 150,000 acres of land under commercial tea and other huge plantations of coffee and sugarcane.

Owners of the multinational tea firms have been paying Sh100 per acre annually in land rates but they will now pay Sh2,000 for the same. The new charges will apply to those with more than 250 acres under tea.

The landowners have opposed the fresh survey but Lagat says they had misunderstood the purpose for which the order was made.

The executive said land management is a devolved function hence the county's move to improve management.

“We will also computerise and digitise all land records so that it becomes easier for owners to get details they need from our offices,” Lagat said.

The Lands Ministry and the county government have finalised plans to put up an Ardhi House in Kapsabet town to centralise land management.

Lands chief officer  Solomon Mang’ira met a team of officers from the ministry to discuss the plan to put up new facilities for the department.

“By having all our lands offices centralised, we will make it easy for us to effectively and efficiently handle issues,” Mang'ira said.

The reforms, including the plan to reposes grabbed public land, was approved by the county executive under the chairmanship of Governor Stephen Sang.

Sang wants the changes effected to ensure proper use and management of land in what he says will also deal with historical land injustices.

 

edited by peter obuya