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Mombasa Republican Council against issuance of title deeds

By TOBIAS CHANJI

The Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) is against the government’s move to issue title deeds in Coast region. “We don’t want title deeds, we want grabbed land returned,” said a leader of the group, which is advocating for secession.

The group said the government should implement the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report that documents the Coast’s land problems.

MRC sees the issuing of title deeds as a political game by the Jubilee government and lashed out at Coast leaders, describing them as self-seekers.

Coast leaders initially opposed the issuing of title deeds, claiming they had been sidelined, but changed their stand to support the programme after meeting President Uhuru Kenyatta and Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu.

The separatist group leaders, who included Secretary General Hamza Randu Ruwa, Malembi Mwatsahu (assistant secretary, elders’ council), Richard Lewa (assistant spokesman) and Omar Suchmore (assistant coordinator) were categorical that issuing 60,000 title deeds will not solve the land problem.

“I see this as a political gimmick. The committee in charge of allocations at Ziwa la Ng’ombe came to me this morning saying they had seen my name among those allotted and that I should be given the title deed before the President but I refused,” claimed Ruwa.

He accused the government of remaining silent over stalled settlement schemes and grabbed land along the 10-mile coastal strip.

Golf course

“According to what we know and the memorandum that we have, the 10-mile coastal strip was leased to the government but was never given to the community. We have not heard the government talk about Vipingo, Kilifi plantations and Nyumba Sita in Msambweni, among others, where local people were evicted. We know who owns land there,” he said.

“At Mariakani barracks in Mombasa, people were displaced and have never found a place to call home. What will happen to this grabbed land?” he posed.

The leaders added that in Kilifi, hundreds of people were evicted to create space for a golf course.

Matsahu claimed conflicts would arise from the ongoing issuing of title deeds, adding that locals would not benefit.