MP accuses councillors of collusion in land deals
By Biketi Kikechi
Malindi MP Gideon Mung’aro admits there are many cases of more than three people holding titles for the same piece of land at Chembe Kibabamche.
Mungaro told The Standard On Saturday local people and foreign investors are affected by the problem.
“You find cases where an obsolete title deed exists and there is also a leasehold title for the same piece of land,” said Mungaro.
“We stopped further allocations and allotments and placed an embargo to allow a fact finding task force establish the truth,” said Mung’aro.
He says the Kivutha Kibwana task force report was not released because, the allocations continued before the circular was made public.
Some foreign investors, whose land was allegedly grabbed by powerful local investors from Nairobi, claim Mung’aro is the architect of their tribulations.
“What they are doing is politics, when a thief takes your cow, you don’t go back to the thief and tell him you stole my cow, can we now negotiate,” said Mung’aro.
He claims the foreigners, mainly Italian investors, enticed a few civic leaders who helped them take the beach plots from poor Giriama owners.
“I know the people who are mad about those plots. They are not few. They are about 10 or more. When we finished the task force report, I made it clear that my target was those plots,” Mung’aro told The Standard On Saturday.
He claimed foreigners (names withheld), fraudulently took the beach plots from local people.
He said they were making the loudest noise because they had allegedly sold the plots to unsuspecting countrymen back at home.
“One of them sold a plot at Sh150 million and that is why when the task force came, some Italians moved to my house asking me to make a deal with them,” said the MP.
He said one of the Italian investors was allocated 30 plots.
“I wrote very strong letters to Lands Minister James Orengo on March 3, 2011, and asked him to explain to me how an Italian was allocated 30 plots next to each other on one day,” said Mung’aro.
Out of the 30, five of them were registered in the name of his girl friend, while the rest are registered under companies owned by the hotelier.
The MP also demanded to know how the investor could have walked into the Kilifi District Lands Office and walked out with 20 titles of nine acres each in one day.
“He buys 20 plots in the morning, goes through the entire Land Control Board process, and in the afternoon gets the plot. Unbelievable!” said Mung’aro.
In the letters addressed to Orengo, Mungaro asked the ministry how a plot registered as agricultural land was directly allocated to a foreigner.
He said under normal circumstances, such land should first be transferred to a Kenyan before it goes to a foreigner.
Apart from Chembe Kibabamche, the MP said the problem of double allocations was also rampant in Bahari Constituency and Msangoni.
He defended the work the Orengo task force whose membership he said comprised reputable leaders from the area.
Mung’aro claimed the Italian tried to bribe him so that he could stop agitating for Giriama land rights but he refused.
The MP recounted how an Italian who flew from Malindi to see him when he was admitted to Nairobi Hospital in October 2009 had the audacity of allegedly attempting to bribe him.
According to the MP, the Italian said: “Instead of us fighting and creating problems with these Giriama, let me give you Sh30 million then you give a bit of it to the Giriama.”
“I told him I don’t need the money and asked him to go and give it to the Giriama. I also referred him to the CID boss in Coast Province,” Mung’aro said.
He said the same investor was allocated 20 titles in one day under a company which was formed five years later than when he got the titles.
“Why is it that only six Italians in Malindi think that they are being fought?” asked Mung’aro.
Malindi in the grip of raging land disputesThe Chembe Kibabamche coastline in Malindi does not boast wide sand beaches that attract thousands of rich tourists from Western Europe, but it has perhaps the highest number of disputes involving prominent local and foreign investors.
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