The National Land Commission will investigate allocations on 100-acre Diani settlement scheme following long-standing disputes and fraud claims.
The commission, on Monday, stopped developments on the prime land located near the Diani beach in Ukunda, Msambweni sub-county, pending a comprehensive joint review with the county government, ministry of Land and locals.
Locals claim most of the land has been allocated to influential people from outside the area.
Tempers flared at the Kenya School of Government venue in Matuga after former Diani councillor Said Mabavu claimed there was a mess in the allocation of plots in the scheme.
Mr Mabavu said the exercise was further complicated as some locals were displaced during allocations done between 1984 and 2001.
“There were several allocations that messed up the scheme because there was lack of consultation between government officers and the local community,” said Mabavu.
Jaso Mahad, a resident of Gombato in Diani, claimed land officers set aside a five-acre plot for the veterinary department, but some strangers later appeared with title deeds for the same land from Nairobi.
“What happened was that the cartels created veterinary land in the first survey but the second survey showed there was no land for the Government department,” said Mr Mahad.
NLC vice-chair Abigael Mbagaya ordered audit of allocations following a heated meeting with locals.
Ms Mbagaya announced that a joint committee comprising the NLC, county government, ministry of Lands and residents’ representative would start the review work in January, next year.
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She told those claiming ownership of plots on the disputed scheme to immediately stop any further development and await the outcome of the audit.
“The commission and county government have arrived at the decision to set up a committee because the issues at the scheme are complicated. We will put up a gazette notice on the decision,” she said.
The county executive committee member for Land and Physical Planning Saumu Beja Mahaja said Governor Salim Mvurya decided to call in the commission and the Ministry of Land to help in resolving long-standing disputes and resettle genuine squatters.
Other NLC commissioners present were Abdulkadir Khalif, Rose Musyoka, Clement Lenachuru and Samuel Tororei.