Why Coast residents are rejecting title deeds issued by CS Kaimenyi

Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi (left) goes through land files when he visited Ministry of Lands offices in Mombasa County Monday. [PHOTO: KELVIN KARANI/STANDARD]

MOMBASA: Most title deeds processed by the Government for Coast landowners have not been collected because the beneficiaries believe they are fake.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said residents were incited by some politicians to reject the titles.

"Thirty-three per cent of the deed papers processed (for Kwale County) have not been collected," he said, adding that in other counties, 95 per cent of titles remained uncollected.

Mombasa County Commissioner Evans Achoki said the majority of beneficiaries of the controversial 930-acre Waitiki Farm in Likoni, Mombasa, had not collected their title deeds almost a year after President Uhuru Kenyatta initiated its transfer from the former owner, Evanson Waitiki.

Prof Kaimenyi spoke in Mombasa yesterday, days after the President and his deputy William Ruto accused the Opposition of using past land injustices to seek support and incite disaffection against the Jubilee administration.

During their weekend tours of Kilifi, Tana River and Kwale counties, Uhuru and Ruto urged local leaders to forget past land grievances and hope for justice under Jubilee in apparent reference to recent statements by Opposition chief Raila Odinga. Raila claimed Jubilee leaders were incapable of implementing radical land reforms in Coast because "they are part of the problem and not the solution".

When he visited Kwale and Tana River counties last month, Raila challenged Jubilee to implement the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission report, which he said contained the answers to the Coast's protracted land problems.

On Saturday, Uhuru angrily rebuked Msambweni MP Suleiman Dori when the legislator challenged him and Jubilee to solve the land problems in Kwale and help repossess a plot under dispute.

Uhuru accused Mr Dori of lecturing him in public instead of meeting in State House to discuss land matters. Most coastal residents are squatters. In recent years, land invasion and occupation of private land has escalated in Mombasa, Kilifi, Taita Taveta and Kwale counties following reports that 99-year leases on these properties had expired.

Yesterday, Kaimenyi said Jubilee was committed to the land reform agenda and warned against invasion of private property.

"Since 2013, the Jubilee government has processed and issued a total of 2.4 million title deeds. We had set a target of three million title deeds by 2017," he said.