Uhuru order on Eastlands land titles unheeded one year later

Urban planning and lands executive, Charles Kerich when he appeared before the planning committee on Thursday, January 7, 2019. [Josphat Thion'go, Standard]
Only 623 title deeds have been issued to residents of Nairobi's Eastlands and not 100,000 deeds as promised by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

It is also emerging that the President may have been duped that he issued 50,000 title deeds in May 2018.

This emerged when Nairobi County's committee on planning and housing queried urban development and lands executive Charles Kerich and county director of survey, Cecilia Wangari on Thursday last week.

In May 2018, Uhuru announced that he had issued 50,000 title deeds to Nairobi residents to unlock Sh20 billion in business and investment. He also promised to issue 100,000 titles by the end of 2018.

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The committee, however, heard that only 50 titles were presented to residents at Jacaranda and that the county government had only issued 623 titles to date, almost a year after Uhuru's announcement.

Nairobi county director of survey, Cecilia Wangari told the committee that issuance of the titles had been delayed by political interference but promised that another 27,000 would be released  soon.

“Out of the 50,000 title deeds the county was only supposed to prepare 30,000. The rest were to be prepared by the ministry of lands. So far we have issued 623 but we have another 27,000 awaiting signatures,” said Wangari.

The director said the titles were meant for Embakasi, Utawala, Kasarani, Dandora among other areas in Eastlands.

Dummy titles

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The committee's chair, Antony Kiragu claimed that the President may have been duped into giving non existent titles deeds to residents.

“As a committee we want to know who lied to the president that 50,000 titles were ready when he went ahead to issue them at the Jacaranda grounds last year," he said.

The county lands and urban planning boss explained that the figure of 100,000 title deeds was a collective target for both City Hall and the Lands ministry for the year 2018.

“There is a misconception regarding the number of title deeds to be provided by the county,” said Mr Kerich.

Admitting that his department had not met its target, Kerich said the process was slowed down by politicians who incited their constituents not to pay processing fees.

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“We are seeking the help of this committee to help us fast-track the process,” he said.

Nairobi CountyLand tittlesEastlands tittle deeds