Residents want issuance of titles halted over disputes

A section of Mbeere South residents have appealed to the government to halt the planned issuance of title deeds to the Makima adjudication section.
A section of Mbeere South residents have appealed to the Government to stop the planned issuance of title deeds for the Makima adjudication section.

Hundreds of residents who gathered at Makima market said lands officials should first conduct physical verification of people currently living on the land and those who possess allotment letters to avert evictions and possibility of chaos.

The land was adjudicated in 1978, but processing of title deeds stalled as residents opposed it and obtained injunctions on grounds that many deserving people were left out.

Residents say they are aware the State plans to issue those titles next month, just four months after Deputy President William Ruto issued 12,000 titles for the Wachoro, Gichiche and Riachina adjudication sections, which were part of the Mwea Trust Land.

Mwea Council of Elders Deputy Vice Chairman Sila Mwaniki and Makima MCA Philip Nzangi said they want the area lands adjudication officer and lands registrar to sit down with local residents and settle all their grievances.

They expressed fears that resettling new people to parcels of land occupied by local residents who were not given allotment letters would spark chaos.

Mwaniki said already many residents in Wachoro adjudication area have received eviction notices from purported beneficiaries of title deeds.

“Some people have lived in Wachoro section for over 40 years and they are being told to move out from the land. They are elderly, know no other home and have no money to buy land elsewhere. The Government should avert a repeat of the same in Makima by halting issuing of title deeds,” he said.

Mwaniki said many residents who believed they were beneficiaries were shocked to find their names missing.

Nzangi said whereas the community was not against issuance of title deeds after 40-year wait, it was prudent to delay the process until their grievances are handled.

“If the State ignores the community’s cries and goes ahead to issue the title deeds, it would end up in evictions and a risk of the repeat of what happened in resettlement of Mwea settlement schemes where a student was killed and eight people sustained gunshot wounds as they resisted the exercise,” said Nzangi.

Residents claimed the 1978 adjudication was not done fairly as it was influenced by civil servants.

While issuing titles in October, Ruto admitted the adjudication and allotment of land in the area had been marred by disputes, but said the Government was working towards a lasting solution.

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Mbeere South residentstitle deedsMakima adjudication