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Ministry of lands blamed for delay in issuance of over 100,000 Nairobi title deeds

By Josphat Thiong’o | March 27th 2019
Urban planning and Lands committee chairman Anthony kiragu (centre) [photo courtesy/ Standard]

The ministry of lands and the county lands department have been blamed for the delay in issuance of title deeds to Nairobi Eastlands residents.

Nairobi city assembly on Wednesday revealed that only 1,023 titles had been processed by the ministry in collaboration with the lands department since May 2018 to date, despite President Uhuru Kenyatta announcing that 100,000 deeds would be issued to Eastlands residents by the end of December 2018.

It also emerged that the 1,023 titles are yet to be issued to city residents.

The urban planning and lands committee revealed that the ministry of lands was still holding processed titles long after the lawyers cleared with them and as such Nairobians had lost faith in the exercise and were now not willing to pay the processing fee of the titles.

“The ministry of lands went ahead to process title deeds without following the due process of verification of leases being done. The end result of this was the processing of numerous erroneous title deeds. Most of the city residents are now not willing to pay for the processing of their titles until they see the results of the process,” said committee chairman, Anthony Kiragu.

The committee also faulted the county lands department, saying that it had negated on its mandate of surveying numerous schemes under the project despite having officers to carry out the task. It further accused the county of frustrating law firms carrying out the title processing exercise thus delaying the process.

“Lawyers are experiencing frustration/delays in the processing of documents from both the county lands office and the ministry. This indicates a lack of dedication or capacity from both the ministry and the department and also shows that there is no synergy between the two in executing this presidential initiative,” stated Kiragu.

The chairman also alluded to the fact that President Uhuru Kenyatta may have been duped into giving non-existent titles deeds to residents at Jacaranda grounds last year.

In May 2018, Uhuru announced that he had issued 50,000 title deeds to Nairobi residents to unlock Sh20 billion in business and investment. He also promised to issue 100,000 titles by the end of 2018.

It was however noted yesterday that only 50 titles were presented to residents at Jacaranda and no other titles had been issued since.

 “As a committee, we want to know who lied to the president that 50,000 titles were ready when he went ahead to issue them at the Jacaranda grounds last year," said Kiragu.

Adding, “We were shown boxes allegedly containing the titles but we were shocked to find out that the titles were never issued after the function.”

Meanwhile, the Assembly has now threatened to write to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji over the snubbing of committee summons by the lands ministry officials.

MCAs from the lands committee, through a statement, yesterday revealed that the Lands PS Nicholas Muraguri had continuously snubbed committee summons which were aimed at him shedding more light on the delay of the title deeds.

“the committee will not hesitate to invoke the provisions of the county assemblies privileges Act 2017 to ensure that the summons are honored and the titling issue is addressed and fast-tracked as intended,” read the statement.

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