By Lucy Wangai
Over 2,000 squatters from the 2600 acre Muri Farm in Manyanja area within Machakos County will receive title deeds in two weeks’ time after the Agricultural Finance Corporation (AFC) which owns the land initiated the process of issuing out the title deeds.
The families who have been squatters in the land since 1984 will be required to pay an agreed amount of money according to the value of the land they currently occupy.
Speaking at the farm on Friday morning ,the AFC chairman Franklin Bett pointed out that those who have occupied infertile land will now be required to pay AFC Shs. 20,000 per acreage while those who squatted on fertile ground will be required to pay Shs. 550,000 respectively.
The chairman revealed that the corporation will loan the squatters 0.5 billion shillings to facilitate acquisition of the land as per the respective land value payable in 5 years.
Bett lauded the squatters for agreeing to dialogue with AFC after a court tussle that has lasted 40 years saying that when things are done openly there was always a way forward.
Bett who commissioned the processing on Thursday in Muri farm acclaimed locals for welcoming dialogue to the land matter that has been in court for over 40 years now.
“These Residents invaded our land in 1984 and became squatters. We have solved the Muri land issues today after long deliberations with local leaders. We have reduced the land pricing by a huge amount to suit the locals who have been residing here and to pave way for loan processing,” said Bett.
The Chairman said the government was committed to ending land issues in the country thereby wooing Muri farm inhabitants to welcome the resolutions made between AFC and local leaders
He pointed out that AFC advocated for peaceful negotiations between the two parties to facilitate development in the area since the 40 years wasted in court battles reduced the squatters into paupers.
He said the solution of the 40 years land tussle was a sign of liberation from poverty, urging locals register with their documents.
“We have agreed that everyone will be allocated land wherever they reside without intrusion from anyone. I am happy that I gave you this promise 5 years ago and it’s now come to pass today,” said the MP.
Muri farm board chairman, Johanna King’ori said the locals were contented with the deliberations urging fellow residents to register their documentations immediately and pay for the land as agreed.
“We have withdrawn the case that has been in court for 40 years now. We are happy that the current government has moved with speed to erase land issues that have been pending since colonialism. We are happy with AFC and now ready to develop our land” concluded King’ori with satisfaction.