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Mautuma squatters plead for land titles

Squatters in Mautuma Central Settlement Scheme in Lugari sub-county have appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to help them get title deeds.

The scheme, established in 1995 through a presidential decree, has 9,000 acres hived off Lugari forest and allocated to the persons who had been displaced as a result of 1992 election clashes witnessed in Turbo, Matunda, Soy, Magut, Kipkaren, Chekalini, Likuyani and Jua-Kali.

The over 3,500 squatters are yet to be issued with title deeds more than two decades later.

A meeting on August 2, this year at the scheme and chaired by Eliud Mulinga, resolved that there was need for the Head of State to consider giving them title deeds. 

The former chairman of the Nyayo National Guidance Movement (NNGM) Alexander Hoops regretted that the squatters are not able to access loans from financial institutions due to lack of deeds.

“The land has become a subject of confusion and corruption. The people living there are suffering and cannot even acquire loans to enable them engage in large-scale farming,” said Mr Hoops.

“We have seen the President issue title deeds in other parts of the country, but we feel forgotten,” he said.

In 2016, the beneficiaries were required to deposit Sh10,000 to have letters of allotment, but most of them refused to pay the money.

The squatters were adamant that they would not pick the letters until 'fake squatters' are evicted from the settlement scheme.

They further asserted that they wanted the land allocated afresh, arguing that local politicians have allocated fake squatters plots and ignored genuine ones. 

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