Mwea scheme land row far from over as court cancels title deeds

The Environment and Land Court has today nullified the 9,232 title deeds issued to beneficiaries of the Mwea Settlement Scheme citing irregularities in its subdivision.

Justice Yuvinalis  Angima made the ruling following a petition by some members of the Ngome council of elders who had sued Lands ministry, the Attorney General, Embu County Government, the National Land Commission and some 320 beneficiaries of the scheme's allocation.

The Judge ordered a fresh subdivision of the 44,000-acre land and allocation of new title deeds under the supervision of Embu County Commissioner in consultation with the community.

The land, which has in dispute for decades, was subdivided in 2016. However, resettling beneficiaries turned chaotic after the squatters resisted eviction. One person died and eight were injured in the fracas.

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The squatters claimed they were not given any land while undeserving people were awarded huge chunks of land. Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and his Lands counterpart Faridah Karoney suspended the resettlement indefinitely.

The Ngome elders, whose petition led to annulling of the title deeds, had applied for the cancellation of ownership documents given to those allocated the land pending hearing and determination of the main case.

The main case had been filed by another faction of the Ngome elders who were fighting for the retention of the title deeds. They went to court after the settlement was suspended.

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The elders had sued the Attorney General, Commissioner of Land, and several government departments and the Embu County Government before the other faction of Ngome were enjoined in the case as interested parties.

The faction applied for the cancellation of the title deeds of the beneficiaries who had more than seven acres and above.

They argued that during the allocation this group used influence to be allocated large chunks of land against the initial agreement.

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Environment and Land CourtMwea Settlement SchemeJustice Yuvinalis  AngimaNgome council of elders