PM says grabbed land will be recovered

October 5, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 5 – The government will not relent in revoking titles to ensure that all illegally acquired public land was reverted to rightful owners, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has declared.

He put private developers who acquired public land irregularly on notice and warned that all illegally acquired title deeds would be revoked.

"we are gathered to make a clear and unmistakable statement that the days of anything goes are gone, the grabbers are going to pay dearly for their greed and the public are going to get back the land that belonged to them," he said.

The Premier announced government plans to embark on an audit of  all public utility land in the country suspected to have been irregularly allocated with the intention to streamline the operations in the chaotic sector.

Mr Odinga made the declaration when he presided over a title handing ceremony at the lands offices where at least 34 public land parcels that were grabbed were reverted back to respective government institutions.

"We are determined to bring sanity to the acquisition and use of lands in the country and this is just the beginning of major intervention to come" he stressed.

The Premier directed the Lands Ministry to fast-track the formulation of the National Land Commission to give parliament room to consolidate and rationalize laws related to land.

He also ordered public institutions to furnish the land ministry with their particulars to facilitate processing of titles.

Mr Odinga said the reverting of the titles was a clear demonstration of the government\’s resolve to restore sanity in the documentation of title deeds whose sanctity was fast waning due to greed and corruption.

He said over the last 47 years, impunity had become the norm in land allocation owing to the sorry state of affairs in the planning and the constructing of the road network systems in major urban centres.

The premier regretted that the culture of impunity and widespread land speculation was discouraging foreign investors interested in establishing business in the country.

He cited cases where exorbitant price of land on offer pushed investors to seek similar opportunities elsewhere at the expense of the country.

"I am here to re assure those who want to invest in Kenya that the law will prevail when it comes to acquisition of land titles and that the sanctity of legally acquired titles will be upheld at all times," the premier reaffirmed.

The reversion of the titles comes as the government experienced hurdles while implementing infrastructural projects on learning that most areas designated for expansion were already  allocated to private developers.


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