FIGHTING LAND GRABBING

Busia to issue 100,000 title deeds by 2022

Some prime grabbed land belongs to the county government

In Summary
  • First to receive the land titles are public institutions.
  • Most of the land in the border county is acquired through inheritance.
Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong. He said some of the land grabbed belongs to the county government.
RAMPANT GRABBING? Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong. He said some of the land grabbed belongs to the county government.
Image: EMOJONG OSERE

Busia county will issue at least 100,000 title deeds by 2022, Lands and Housing chief executive Grephas Opata has said.

Atop the list to receive the land titles are public institutions whose land is targeted by private developers for acquisition.

According to documents from the Lands department seen by the Star, land in the county is predominantly ancestral but has been demarcated for private use.

Opata said public institutions such as government schools, health facilities, polytechnics and other public establishments will have their titles processed fast.

“We are telling heads of these institutions to come to the office. We will help process their land titles,” he told the Star on the phone on Wednesday.

Most of the land in the border county is acquired through inheritance.

Although the Constitution of Kenya provides for the inheritance of land for both male and female children, inter-generational transfer of land is mainly favourable to males, the majority of whom own family land in the county.

The county’s Integrated Development Plan for 2018-2022 says the county will be conducting sensitisations programmes to educate the public on the importance of land titles.

Opata spoke seven months after Agricultural Finance Corporation board chairman Franklin Bett called for the intervention of Governor Sospeter Ojaamong to reclaim part of its prime land in Busia town which he said has been grabbed by a private developer.

Bett said last year in July that people should learn to respect public property saying the alleged grabber has already erected structures in the grabbed parcel.

Ojaamong last year said some prime land belonging to the county government has been grabbed and efforts are being made to recover it.

He cited Bumala market, Matayos dispensary, Busia airstrip land and slaughterhouse land in Busia as among public land parcels already in the hands of private individuals.

The county chief warned land grabbers that his administration will not stand silently by as public land is transferred to private developers.

Busia Bus Park, which is public land, recently said has been grabbed but Opata said efforts are being made to reclaim it.

He said after reclamation, the park will be modernised when the Kenya National Highways Authority will start rehabilitating the Busia-Kisumu Highway from the One-Stop Border Post to Korinda.

(Edited by V. Graham)