Lack of titles to blame for land grabbing, says Lands CS Jacob Kaimenyi

Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi

Lack of title deeds is to blame for increased cases of land grabbing in Kenya.

According to Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi, land grabbing is rampant in Kiambu, Meru, Kajiado and Kisumu counties.

He said corrupt land officials were working with brokers to aid the grabbing of land countywide.

Speaking in Ruiru town over the weekend, Prof Kaimenyi said his ministry is rolling out reforms to get rid of the corrupt officials.

"Land officials who found culpable of abetting corruption will have to take responsibility. They will be held accountable and prosecuted. We have to bring sanity back to the sector," said Kaimenyi.

He added: "In order to fast-track the issuance of title deeds in the country, my ministry has set aside Sh1 billion in the next financial year for the processing of the documents."

He said his ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Interior will reconcile warring groups in various land buying companies, which have been embroiled in perennial wrangles over the control of the firms.

Corrupt officials

The CS spoke a week after the Thika-based Masai Village Women's Self-Help Group and Kiang'ombe Squatters Scheme accused officials at the Thika Lands Registry of abetting the grabbing of part of their land.

The groups had resolved to write to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and ensure the 11 acres sold to an unsuspecting investor by a broker were returned to them.

"We hope the Cabinet secretary will help bring back sanity to the lLnds sector. Ministry officials have been working in cahoots with brokers to transfer part of our land to the unsuspecting investor," said Peter Ndukuthio, chairman of the Masai Village Women's Self-Help Group.

Governor William Kabogo called on Kaimenyi to intervene and ensure perennial wrangles at the Mboi-Kamiti and Githunguri Constituency Ranching Company were resolved and titles issued to members.

The two companies have been embroiled in perennial wrangles over the control of the firms. Several directors have been killed under unclear circumstances.

"Land grabbing in the county is rampant and we want you to intervene," said Mr Kabogo.