Coast residents rush to file land injustice claims

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 00:00 |
President Uhuru Kenyatta issues title deeds to residents of Rabai sub-county in Kilifi county on July 22. He presided over the issuance of 2,169 title deeds. Photo/PD/File

Charles Lwanga 

Coast residents who suffered historical land injustices are in a rush to submit their grievances to the National Land Commission (NLC) before the September 21 deadline.

In Kilifi, hundreds of residents turned up for public barazas organised by the county and NLC to submit their grievances.

Shella Ward administrator Zamzam Ali said the Land Laws Amendment Act of 2016 gave a period of five years within which Kenyans are supposed to present claims on historical land injustices until September 21.

“Victims of historical land injustices in Shella, Maweni, Muyeye, Karima and other places within the ward are required to submit their grievances before a baraza at Takaye today,” she told People Daily.

Raphael Ngoma, Executive Director of the Institute of Participatory Development, said Coast residents have suffered land injustice for years and urged them to submit their claims before the deadline.

He also urged locals who cannot read or write to seek help so that they are not left out when the commission starts addressing historical land injustices after the deadline.

Stembo Kaviha, a political activist in Sabaki, said many Kenyans have not been sensitised enough on matters of historical land injustice to enable them submit their grievances.

Fraudulent means

“Lack of sensitisation has made locals remain squatters despite Government efforts to address the land injustice issue through NLC,” he said.

Kaviha said Coast residents risks remaining squatters should the deadline elapse without some of them submitting their grievances. 

“For instance, Magarini residents lament that salt manufacturing companies have grabbed their lands while those in Malindi claim that tycoons from various parts of the country have grabbed their land using fraudulent means,” he claimed.

He added:  These are some of the issues that need to be submitted to the commission before the deadline.”

This comes a month after President Uhuru Kenyatta launched issuance of 70,000 tittle deeds in the region beginning with Rabai Constituency in Kilifi where he expressed his commitment to address the squatter menace.

Last month, surveyors completed working on Mazrui land in Msabaha that shall enable more than 2,600 squatters own land.

Hannington Baya, the Msabaha land committee chairman for Mazrui plot number 5044/R said their dream has come true after waiting for many years since independence to own land.

Ganda Ward Rep Reuben Katana said the government dispatched 45 surveyors to look into the matter thereafter squatters are expected to receive title deeds.

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