National Land Commission (NLC) annuls 1,000 titles

National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri (right) addresses a public forum in Mosiro, Kajiado County, yesterday. With him is Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery (centre) and Kajiado West MP Moses ole Sakuda. [PHOTO: PETERSON GITHAIGA/STANDARD]

The national government has revoked more than 1,000 title deeds for land said to have been given illegally to individuals in Mosiro.

National Land Commission (NLC) Chairman Muhammad Swazuri said after listening to various testimonies from residents who were allocated the land, it was evident that the whole process was flawed.

Addressing a huge gathering in Mosiro along the Narok-Kajiado border after chairing a public hearing yesterday, Dr Swazuri said his commission had no doubt that the land in question was given out illegally and that the title deeds should be revoked as earlier ruled by a Nairobi court.

During the forum, those claiming ownership to the land were given a chance to present their case. However, most of them could not establish their specific parcels of land because they had never visited the area.

“It is amazing that some people claim to have been allocated land but they cannot show us the location or anything linking them to the land. We will, therefore, revoke the title deeds and return the land to the owners, who are the Maasai community,” said Swazuri.

Last month, the commission issued a 21-day ultimatum to those holding title deeds for 150,000 acres in Mosiro, which allegedly belonged to the Maasai community, to send the documents to his office for scrutiny.

Swazuri, who was accompanied by Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, Deputy Governor Paul Ntiati and Member of Parliament Moses ole Sakuda, also warned individuals who had grabbed community land in the county that they risked having their title deeds revoked.

Local residents had complained to NLC about the alleged land grabbing and demanded that all the title deeds for the land should be cancelled.

Mr Nkaissery thanked the land commission for investigating the matter, saying the controversy about ownership would now be a thing of the past.

“Today we have heard very interesting testimonies from different people who believe they own land here, but the question is how do you own land and you have no idea who your neighbors are, or even where the land is located?” posed Nkaissery.  

Mr Ntiati described Mosiro as a case of historical injustice that should be handled carefully.

“We are happy that today, the county and the national governments have joined hands to look for a proper solution to the problem affecting the residents of Mosiro. They have suffered for more than 30 years,” said Ntiati.