, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – The National Land Commission has allayed fears of some coast residents by clarifying that it was involved in the plans to issue 60,000 title deeds.
The commission’s chairperson, Mohamed Swazuri said that they offered technical advice to the Lands Ministry before the announcement was made.
Swazuri says the commission is aware of the issuance as they were involved by the government prior to the decision.
“We are aware of the government decision and we fully support the idea; some of these title deeds have been lying uncollected at lands offices,” he affirmed.
He said the titles being issued out by the government date back to the 60s and 80s, but they will soon start issuing out their own titles to solve the land wrangles in the country.
While on his tour of Coast last week, Deputy President William Ruto said the Jubilee government would completely resolve the land problem at the Coast in its first term in office through the issuance of title deeds which would eradicate the squatter problem.
Addressing the residents on August 11, Ruto noted that the land problem in the Coast region was a campaign issue in the last General Election and could have contributed to Jubilee’s poor performance in the area but he assured area residents that the government is determined to ensure its resolution.
“We have instructed the Ministry of Lands to issue title deeds to those whose land ownership is uncontested and we plan on issuing 1,000 this year alone so you can get down to business,” he said.
Ruto said the government was committed to economically empowering coastal communities through the title deeds which they can use as collateral when applying for business loans.
The Cabinet had on Tuesday approved the issuance of 60,000 title deeds to Coast residents by the end of this month in a move to address the squatter problem there.
Human rights groups on Monday, August 19 appealed to the government to involve the National Land Commission in the issuance of the 60,000 title deeds.
Led by Muslim for Human Rights group, they warned that the process might be hijacked by a rival political group opposed to the project.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has opposed the move saying it is meant to deceive Coast residents into believing the Jubilee government has their interests at heart.