Ngilu: Land audit to extend to 1963

By KBC Reporters/KNA

Irregular transfers and acquisition of land dating back from independence in 1963 will be revoked and the land repossessed by the government, Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has said.

Speaking in Mombasa County Ngilu said the government will not play politics with land adding that an audit to determine which parcels of land have been grabbed is ongoing and once complete the ministry will not hesitate to implement its recommendations.

Ngilu said revocation of illegal titles will extended to include irregular acquisitions done since 1963 when the Country gained independence, irrespective of who owns the land.

An audit of all land transactions is currently underway and Ngilu says her ministry will act forcefully on the recommendations.

Ngilu says surveyors have been dispatched to Lamu County as investigations on the estimated 500 thousand acres of land whose titles were cancelled last week continue.

She warned politicians that she will not be intimidated saying those opposing the cancellation of fraudulently acquired titles must state their interests.

Siaya senator James Orengo has been adversely mentioned in the allocation and while the CORD coalition has threatened to expose land grabbers if Orengo is arrested,  Bumula MP Bumula MP Boniface Otsula say he should face the law like any other Kenyan.

The MP says President Uhuru Kenyatta should extend the cancellation of illegal titles to other parts of the country.

NLC probe

The National Land Commission is scheduled to commence the formal process of investigating the issuance of title deeds to the 500,000 acres of land in Lamu County as directed by the President.

The commission seeks to establish if indeed the allocations were done irregularly.

A team of 10 CID officers has also been tasked with probing how 22 private companies acquired the land through a process the Jubilee government alleges was fraudulent.

The matter has almost become political with Jubilee politicians calling for the arrest of former Lands Minister James Orengo.

On his part, Orengo and other Opposition leaders dismissed the claims by Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu, with Orengo saying his hands are clean, challenging the legality of Uhuru’s revocation order and welcoming a separate probe being conducted by the National Land Commission.

Meanwhile, normalcy is slowly returning in Lamu County after a series of deadly attacks witnessed in the region.

Several business premises are resuming work and schools reinstating their normal schedule.

This comes after the deployment of a contingent of security personnel in the area who have made tremendous gains identifying hideouts allegedly used by some of the attackers.

But even as the exercise gained acclaim, some residents raised concern over the dusk-dawn curfew that has been imposed in the area.

Witu Assistant County Commissioner David Boeni is however urging area residents to embrace the Nyumba Kumi initiative in a bid to identify perpetrators of criminal acts.

Area regional security committee has also formed an inter religious peace forum to encourage peace and cohesion among residents.