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September 24, 2018

Embakasi Ranching owners to get titles after Uhuru’s order

President Uhuru Kenyatta issue titles to Nairobi residents at Jacaranda Grounds, Embakasi East, on May 30 / PSCU
President Uhuru Kenyatta issue titles to Nairobi residents at Jacaranda Grounds, Embakasi East, on May 30 / PSCU

Members of the troubled Embakasi Ranching Company could receive their titles next month.

This is after the Ministry of Lands announced the documents have been processed and the first batch is ready for printing.

The printing follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive to the Ministry and management of the organisation on May 30 to ensure all the shareholders get their titles in three months. This will end the agony and suffering that innocent land buyers and shareholders have undergone for years.

The company has been held hostage by cartels, which include influential and wealthy politicians who have been evicting genuine landowners and allocating the land to tycoons. People have been killed and injured because of multiple allocations.

A source familiar with the processing of land documents revealed to the Star that about 18,000 titles have been reviewed and found to be genuine.

“We should be processing another 6,000 title deeds this week to make it 24,000. The President will then issue them later this month or early next month,” he said.

About 3,500 shareholders have been fighting tooth and nail to have a piece of the 24,000 acres in the expansive Eastlands area.

Yesterday, Lands chief officer Stephen Mwangi said the process is going on smoothly and that the titles could be issued as early as next month.

A section of shareholders has been jittery as they may miss out. The source, however, allayed their fears, saying land experts have suggested that a ceiling be put to five plots per member for all to benefit.

This, he explained, will ensure everyone gets justice. There are 35,000 plots at the centre of controversy.

Uhuru directed Lands CS Faridah Karoney and the Nairobi county government to ensure all the shareholders and those who bought land through the firm get their titles.

The ranch was established in 1975 with shareholders mainly from Kiambu and Murang’a, many of whom have since died.

The company was to wind up in February, but the government gave the title deeds directive. During the verification last Monday, most of the shareholders who turned up were in their eighties.

They came armed with worn out documents, braving the rays of the sun. Details that were being verified included names of beneficiaries and directors.

Njiru deputy county commissioner Joseph Mwangi told the Star on the phone on Tuesday that the processing of titles was going on as planned.

He said 15,000 plots still had issues as they have double registrations or have not been surveyed.

“The public should be patient as they have suffered for too long,” Mwangi said. On Monday last week, Lands CAS Gideon Mung’aro warned that all individuals who swindled the ranching company shareholders will be pursued and prosecuted.

It is understood that surveyors and a section of directors colluded, a move that saw some plots of land allocated to more than three different people. Mung’aro led an exercise to verify the shareholders’ documents at the troubled company’s offices in Embakasi. Company chairman Sammy Kungu said “he had reservations on how the exercise was being conducted”.

 

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