Use mediation to settle protracted land cases, Governor Lee Kinyanjui

The National Land Commission and the County Government of Nakuru will from early next year set up community committees to help solve land conflicts hindering acquisitions of title deeds.

Nakuru governor Lee Kinyanjui said there were many land disputes in courts, some lasting for over 10 years, and could be amicably solved out of court.

“These cases are hindering rightful owners from acquiring vital land documents to develop their land,” said Governor Lee.

The Governor added that some of the issues raised in courts were minor and would be solved within minutes if concerned parties with honesty met outside courts arbitrated by NLC and committee members.

Governor Lee with Mohamed Swazuri
Governor Lee with Mohamed Swazuri

He said land ownership cases took ages to settle due to few adjudicating officers and appeals causing the case backlogs.

In October this year, an appellate court allowed magistrates to handle land cases in a bid to reduce backlog but has not lessened situations.

The High Court had declared that it was illegal for Parliament to confer jurisdiction on the magistrates’ courts to hear land disputes
Governor Lee was speaking during the homecoming and thanks giving ceremony of Naivasha East MCA Stanley Karanja at Sision Primary School in Ihindu, Naivasha East on Friday.

He cited Old Kijabe at the border of Nakuru and Kiambu counties, Longonot and Maera as some of the areas in Naivasha with long standing land disputes.

Earlier on Wednesday, Governor Lee had hosted NLC Chairman Dr Mohamed Swazuri at his office where they discussed land ownership, accrued conflicts and grabbing in the county.

“The county will work closely with NLC to reclaim public utility land across the county in the hands of individuals,” stated the governor adding that the land could be used to set up public utilities such as markets, hospitals or car parks.

County Assembly of Nakuru Speaker Engineer Maina Kairu appreciated the need to have land ownership documents stating that they would also help farmers use them as collaterals to get farms inputs.

“This is a pyrethrum growing zone and in as much as the governor works towards reviving the sector, the farmers need title deeds to apply for loans and other agricultural needs,” said Speaker Kairu.

Area MCA, who is also the County Assembly of Nakuru Majority Leader, Mr Stanley Karanja said pyrethrum was the only crop doing well in the area and farmers were wallowing in poverty after the collapse of the sector.
Governor Lee revealed that the county was in talks with neighbouring Nyandarua County to get water from the neighbouring Aberdare Ranges.

“We have sent engineers on the ground to assess viability of getting water from Nyandarua County to help Naivasha people access clean, adequate and affordable water for domestic and agricultural use,” Governor Lee said.
On education, Governor Lee said the county would soon be releasing Kshs. 2 million bursary funds per ward to see that bright but needy students got access to education by early next year.

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