Lamu women rep accuses Mombasa,Nairobi tycoons of frustrating locals

Lamu East Member of Parliament Ruweida Mohamed./FILE

Lamu, KENYA: Lamu Women Rep Ruweida Obbo wants action taken against tycoons who use threats and money to frustrate landowners in the county.

Speaking in Lamu on Friday,Obbo said most of the tycoons are from the counties of Mombasa and Nairobi.

She said the tycoons have been forcefully grabbing lands close to areas earmarked for mega national projects in the county.

Many residents have been forced out of their lands and are now squatting in various parts of the county after the tycoons allegedly threatened them out.

The legislator cited the new Lamu port LAPSSET site at Kililana and Mashunduani area as the most notorious for such incidents.

She said similar incidents have been reported in areas around Kwasasi in Hindi division where the Sh.200 Billion coal power is anticipated to be set up.

Obbo said a majority of the tycoons are armed with fake title deeds which they use to force locals out before duping them of their ancestral inheritance.

“For those who are lucky, the tycoons will want them to accept any amount of money as compensation and move out.Others just wake up and they told they no longer own their own lands.It’s terrible and unfair.People are losing their lands to these moneyed tycoons just because they come armed with fake titles.Can you imagine being asked to leave your land for say Sh.20,000 or nothing at all?It beats logic,” said Obbo.

“These people are known to the local administration and am sure to some extent even the NLC.The fact that most lands here haven’t yet been demarcated and allocated title deeds doesn’t give anyone the permission to come and grab lands right from the owners.It’s wrong and unfair,” she added.

The woman rep has called on the National Lands Commission-NLC to be responsible enough in its mandate and ensure Lamu residents are given title deeds so that they are able to protect their lands.

She also called on the commission to seek and for and establish permanent solutions to the rather rampant land issues but moreso land grabbing.