Kenya to vet foreign owned property

December 8, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – Foreigners who own property in Kenya will soon be required to document what property they own and how they acquired it.

Internal Security Permanent Secretary Francis Kimemia said they will work with the Ministry of Lands and the provincial administration to facilitate the process.

 “There have been various representations by Kenyans that we should know who owns what property in this country. Very many foreigners have come and bought property in this country but we do not seem to know who they are. Our legal structure does not seem to have provisions where you are able to gauge the extent of the acquisition of say prime lands by foreigners,” he stated.

He also added that the Ministry of Lands would give clear directions on how the exercise would be conducted and that the Internal Security ministry had already called on the Nairobi Provincial Commissioner to start working on a framework that would document property ownership issues.

“Especially on issues of money laundering or people bringing in monies that are dirty and cleaning them through buying land and forming bogus companies in this country. I am told that some of the buyers do not even change names; they buy your land registered under the name of Lesirma (for example) but still retain the name,” he observed.

He added that the government was also carrying out operations that would flush out illegal immigrants in Kenya and that it had already started tightening the country’s borders to control the influx of illegal refugees.

“We are still constructing the Sudan border post and we will begin constructing the Liboi border post any time from now. However, the issue of strengthening our borders is very important; especially our border with Somalia. Let them continue managing their internal affairs but we need to ensure that we do not get bogus or unjustified refugees,” he stated.

“We have had operations in Eastleigh, Kangemi and Kitengela and will still move into other major towns. We are not targeting particular communities but we must ensure that Kenya is safe from people who are engaging in criminal acts,” he said.

Mr Kimemia also pointed out that the government had collected over 200 firearms among them M16 rifles following the government’s third amnesty issued to pastoral communities in cattle rustling prone areas to encourage them give up their weapons.

“We are so shocked that some of the firearms we recovered in a small town called Laikipia include five M16s. These are fairly powerful firearms and from the serial numbers we would like to know where these pastoralists got them from because they are very few in the market,” he said.

He stated that the government had deployed more security forces to the highly volatile regions to facilitate the disarmament process set to reduce the incessant cattle rustlings.

“From Turkana all the way to Isiolo and Marsabit all those areas where cattle rustling have become prevalent, we are moving bigger numbers of security forces to engage in a massive disarmament exercise. We will also give briefs on how many arms have been recovered,” he said.

He also cautioned those who engaged in the cattle rustling that it would no longer be treated as a cultural practice but as a crime.

“Sometimes when we catch cattle rustlers we do not even charge them because it is treated as a cultural issue. We will now start charging these people either with murder, robbery with violence or both depending on the crimes that have been committed,” he said further directing that all pastoral communities go back to their original grazing zones.

“All communities must go back to their grazing grounds and this is not tribalism. There is no reason why Samburus must move all the way to Meru region. If one community wants to move from their grazing area to another then the pasture management committees (which were created) must facilitate this so that if there are issues of insecurity one community will be responsible unlike now when we cannot tell which community is harassing which,” he said.

Mr Kimemia spoke during the commissioning of 24 District Commissioners some of whom would be sent to the cattle rustling prone regions. Of the 24 only two are female.


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