Fresh errors found in title deeds issued by President
By Joseph Masha
| June 2nd 2014
MOMBASA, KENYA: Fresh errors have been detected in 1,800 title deeds issued by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu last year to squatters on Kanagoni and Kambicha settlement schemes in Magarini, Kilifi County.
Title deed holders have realised that the acreage listed on the documents is much lower than the land they actually live on and farm.
This means if the documents are accepted as legally binding and final, the residents will have lost part of their land.
The revelation was made by County Executive Committee Member in charge of Lands and Physical Planning, John Mazuri, who made the disclosure in reaction to remarks by Adu Ward Representative Stanley Kenga.
Mr Kenga had claimed that many residents were cheated off sections of land in the title deeds distributed by the President.
Mr Mazuri confirmed that he had received numerous complaints of this nature and launched investigations that revealed land officers, who helped to prepare the documents, did not conduct a thorough survey of the land before making the title deeds.
“Many residents who benefited from title deeds for the Kanagoni and Kambicha settlement schemes have complained to my office that they were allocated smaller portions of land on the deeds compared to the land they actually live on,” he said while assuring the squatters that the problem would be solved.
At the same meeting, Rabai MP William Kamoti said many title deeds were also prepared for people who died years ago, forcing dependants and relatives to incur the cost of transferring the land to new owners.
“We have cases where people who registered to be allocated land on behalf of their families died yet the documents have been issued in their names,” he said.
The MP said the problem of altered acreage was widespread and asked the Lands ministry to correct the anomalies.
Close to 35,000 title deeds were issued by the President, signalling what the Jubilee government touted as the start of land reforms in the Coast region.
However, the residents’ spirits were soon dampened when half of the documents were found to be faulty and so could not be issued.
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