The bold move by the National Land Commission to revoke hundreds of title deeds across the country has given many public institutions and individuals land it said had been grabbed.
Through his signature, the commission’s chairman Muhammad Swazuri has given a new lease of life to county governments, national government institutions, schools, and individual landowners. The list, which was published last Friday in The Kenya Gazette, is likely to open litigations as banks find themselves with shell titles as collateral for loans.
In a special Kenya Gazette notice, the commission told interested parties to access full files at its offices.
Kenya Forest Service had 151 titles reverted to its name as previous owners’ documents were revoked. A closer look at the list shows that the real owners went to great lengths to hide their identities as nearly all titles were issued to companies.
This means that the acreage of Karura Forest is set to increase.
The forest, situated on Kiambu Road, became a theatre of running battles in the 1990s as activists led by Nobel Peace laureate, Prof Wangari Maathai, opposed a move by the Kanu regime to allocate it to private developers.
Kakamega Golf Course managers have a reason to smile after titles belonging to a Nasa principal and a former provincial commissioner for 12 pieces of land were revoked and the land reverted to the sports facility. Kakamega Primary School also benefited from the sweeping pen of Dr Swazuri after he revoked the title of a supermarket and a pharmaceutical company and the documents reverted to the Kakamega county government on behalf of the learning institution.
In Nakuru, a private developer, who had already set up a building on land set aside for a playground, will have the title revoked and the ownership reverted to the national government with recommendations for it to be used as a school and a playground.
In Kisumu, the national government was the biggest beneficiary, after 16 title deeds owned by various entities were cancelled. A total of 61 beneficiaries of government houses also lost them and the property reverted to the government after it was found they acquired them without following the right procedure.
In Nairobi’s Woodley estate, 102 house owners found themselves without ownership documents as the houses were handed to the county government housing department. The commission said the owners acquired the houses illegally.
Similarly, in Kiambu, 80 people who illegally occupied government houses had their title deeds cancelled and the property reverted to the government.
In Nairobi and Kiambu counties several title deeds originally set aside for public toilets, schools, health centres and other social amenities, but found to have been grabbed, were also revoked. One of the cases was a parcel in Juja, Kiambu, that had been set aside for a public toilet but had been allocated to one Francis Ndung’u Kirori.
In Eldoret, 118 pieces of land, which had been allocated to various connected individuals, including former senior prison officers, had their titles revoked and the land handed back to the Kenya Prisons Services.
Musalia Mudavadi and Joe Nyagah among losers in recovery of what NLC says is illegally allocated land.