Alarm as cartels eye plots in Kitale


A county administrator has warned of cartels that are allegedly targeting prime land in Kitale town.

County Commissioner Erastus Mbui said the individuals were colluding with land officials to grab unregistered parcels of prime plots.

“We have discovered that several people have lost prime land to cartels because they have registered the leaseholds. We are asking residents with unregistered leaseholds to register them to avoid speculators,” said Mr Mbui.

Mbui said the registration of leasehold land would defeat the cartels' games as well as allow beneficiaries of the State-leased land to acquire title deeds.

The administrator's warning comes in the wake of reports that over 10 families in Kitale are facing eviction after suspected syndicates working with corrupt land officials in Nairobi secured title deeds for their land.

Mrs Jane Kigen, the widow of former Health Permanent Secretary Samuel Kigen, is among the leaseholders who have lost plots worth millions of shillings to the land grabbers.

The ministry of Lands has issued a title deed to an individual against a plot measuring almost one acre allocated to the Kigen family 32 years ago.

"I was in the process of securing a title deed for the plot only to be informed by the Trans Nzoia County Land Registrar that a lease certificate for my plot has been issued to another person,” said Mrs Kigen.

The widow vowed not to move out of the parcel of land. “I am ready to die here. I have lived here with my children and grandchildren for the past 32 years and I don’t have anywhere to go. They will take away my plot over my dead body."

Kigen asked Lands Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney to intervene and save her from being rendered landless.

Efforts to get Trans Nzoia County Registrar Nelson Odhiambo for comment were unsuccessful.   

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