, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21 – Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has re-opened the Mombasa Lands Registry after a two-week long cleanup exercise which saw some 38,574 missing files recovered.
While re-opening the office, Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu indicated that despite the fact that some of the missing files had been found, about 17,952 convenience files and some 20,622 parcel files were still missing from the 115,909 files in the Mombasa registry.
The minister who has constantly come under fire for alleged undermining of the National Land Commission (NLC) – the body charged with the responsibility of resolving land disputes which date back to the pre-colonial period – rubbished claims by the Opposition that the cleanup exercise was a plot by the government to repossess land whose leases had expired.
Ngilu lauded the auditing process saying it had brought sanity to the registry and thus the residents should expect excellent service from the lands docket which was keen on resolving the outstanding land ownership issues in the country.
The audit of the land registry was prompted by the alleged grabbing of land in Lamu County which led to a probe into title deeds for some 22 companies.
Directors of the firms are currently being heard through a quasi-judicial process.
The minister also pointed out that the inspection process which started in Nairobi and is expected to spread across the country would continue since the missing files had led to a backlog of 7,000 cases.
The Kwale Lands Registry was also scrutinised where it emerged that politicians used their influence to allocate parcels of land meant for a settlement scheme to their family members who include underage children. Ngilu directed that the titles to those parcels of lands be revoked immediately.
She also dismissed allegations that she was over-looking the mandate of the National Land Commission stating that she was working within the mandate of her docket.
The minister together with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Director of Physical Planning and the Director of Survey are expected to appear before the Senate committee on Land and Natural resources on September 6 to help demystify the location of the multi-billion Konza Techno City which has put two counties(Machakos and Makueni) at loggerheads.