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PM: Draft law will solve land question

BUSIA
By | April 15th 2010

By PETER OPIYO and PETER MUTAI

Prime Minister Raila Odinga is confident the Proposed Constitution will solve the persistent land problems.

Raila asked Kenyans to support the draft, saying it would protect genuinely acquired land.

"The era of impunity is gone and the era of ‘grabbiosis’ is also gone. It must be a notice that impunity would not be tolerated. All land grabbers will face the law," said Raila.

The PM spoke yesterday at Milimani Law Courts when he issued six title deeds to Chief Justice Evan Gicheru for land grabbed from the Judiciary in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Eldoret.

Justice Gicheru and Attorney General Amos Wako talked tough on land grabbing.

The CJ said a road reserve serving the Milimani Law Courts and the Ministry of Agriculture offices had been grabbed and another linking the area to Haile Sellasie Avenue on the Upper Hill area blocked.

"Should anybody dare to take the Government to court over the revocation of the titles, we will be on hand to defend it," said Mr Wako.

He added: "The Government cannot afford to encourage speculation on land."

perennial problems

Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo rooted for the draft, saying it would solve the perennial land problems that have become the country’s "social traps".

And speaking on a local FM radio station, Lands Minister James Orengo said those who acquired huge chunks of land illegally were now worried of losing it if the proposed law is passed.

He accused the ‘No’ campaign team of peddling falsehood and propaganda, adding it was morally wrong for politicians to misinform Kenyans for their selfish political gains.

He said if the Government wants to acquire land, the affected occupants are entitled to compensation at the prevailing market value.

settle landless

Mr Orengo said only those with than 10,000 acres of land, which is idle, will have to surrender the unused portions to settle the landless.

He dismissed claims that the Government will repossess most land if the draft is passed.

He said the document, as outlined in the Bills of Rights on protection of right to property, guarantees Kenyans the right to acquire and own land in any part of the country and recognises the sanctity of title deed.

Orengo said there have been outsiders flocking Rift Valley and Coast provinces in search of land at the expense of the local inhabitants, adding the rights of those in the two provinces must be respected.

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