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NLC Chairman Swazuri gives grabbers two-week notice to surrender public land

By Joan Letting | December 28th 2015

Land grabbers in the county have been given two week's notice by the National Land Commission (NLC) Chairman Muhammad Swazuri to surrender public land.

Speaking at the county headquarters at Kanamkemer during the swearing in of the county lands management board, Dr Swazuri said title deeds for grabbed land would be revoked.

NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri (PHOTO: COURTESY)

He noted that there was a higher affinity for land grabbing in Lodwar compared to other rural counties.

"The land grabbing rate is very high here compared to other rural counties. Land belonging to the airport, hospital, police line, Kenyatta line, Lodwar Mixed Primary School, the public market and public bus stop has been grabbed," he said.

He added: "It is even ironical that a person can start building on a land that is of national and international importance like the Kenyatta line where the first president of the Republic and the Kapenguria Six were held during the colonial period."

Swazuri said he did not expect that in such an area, people could encroach and start building permanent and semi-permanent structures on public land without following procedure to check on land ownership.

"We will follow due process to revoke the titles. A notice of two weeks will be given to the people who have built on public land.

"If someone steals public land, we will not call and ask them where they got the land. If it is public it is public. We will revoke the titles and return the land to the public," said Swazuri.

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He noted that he was in the county in 2001 during the constitution review process and the land preserved for the public was still intact.

When he returned last month,  Swazuri said he was shocked to discover that people had built on public land without following due process.

"When I came back last month, I found that public land was already grabbed. Kwa nini mnataka kuiba kila kitu (Why do you want to steal everything) yet it is clear it belongs to the public?" posed Swazuri.

Governor Josphat Nanok said business licences would not be given to businessmen who had built their premises on public land.

"From next year, we will not give licences to businessmen who have built on public land. We will only give licences to those who have businesses in legitimate places," said Mr Nanok.

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