The government is set to issue 78,000 title deeds which were processed under the Rapid Results Initiative aimed at speeding up the issuance of land ownership documents at the Coast region so as to address the squatter problem.
Lands Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro said in Taita Taveta the state has already begun issuing 37,000 tittles, 13,000 others in Kwale while Kilifi has 21 000, adding that Mombasa has 3800 and over 4000 in Lamu.
He said Tanariver county has challenges because many parcels belong to the community in the form of ranches.
Speaking in Kilifi he said president Uhuru Kenyatta is set to tour the region to commission the issuance of the title deeds which are ready while many others were being processed.
Further, he said the state is also keen to address the problem of absentee landlords which has been a major challenge for locals to obtain land title deeds.
”We have absentee landlords who exist like in Mikanjuni in Kilifi the government is buying the land to give it back to wananchi the process is at an advance stage as the government is left with subdivision to divide it among the locals” he said.
Mung’aro said talks are going on between the government and other absentee landlords such as Takaungu, Tezo, Basi, Roka, Mida, and Msabaha in Kilifi County.
He said the government is also in talks with the owner of Kagaa where 4200 acres of land are owned by squaters.
In Mombasa, he said the government has acquired 28 acres which appear small but will settle many people adding that the state is also addressing the problem of Kwabulo which has been there for decades.
”Many of the parcels of land which the government is in talks with the owners are from Coast region which shows how the government is keen to address the land issues in the region and end the squatter problem,” he said.
The CAS said the government may not immediately end the squatter problem but assured residents that they will make a major achievement.
Currently, he said the government is set to open a new Lands registry office in Malindi so as to help people in Magarini and Malindi from traveling long distances to seek services from the Ministry.
”Next year we shall begin construction of Ardhi house of Malindi but for now, we shall open an office at the DCC’s office where there will be a whole department of lands and all papers belonging to Malindi and Magarini shall be available,” he said.
Mung’aro said there has been a major challenge on land problems whenever the matters are taken to court as the Ministry gets challenges in addressing such cases and especially when the parcel of land belongs to a tycoon or a private developer.
The only breakthrough in such cases is when there is an agreement between the public and the tycoon or the government and tycoons.
He said they have always emphasized to the security agents and provincial administration to ensure there is an agreement between all parties instead of evicting people who have stayed there for decades.
”In some areas, there are tycoons who obtained land illegally and we normally give such a case to the National Land Commission to investigate and find out how they acquired the ownership documents,” he said.
He said currently the government is in the process of acquiring the parcels of land to give it to wananchi but is finalizing valuation so as to know the costs that the government will incur.
In Kakanjuini for example once the process is complete over 4000 people are going to be resettled.
Land ownership has been a major challenge in the Coast region and the Jubilee party administration led by president Kenyatta promised to address the squatter problem so as to ensure locals have land ownership documents.