Debate on proposed Land Bill
26 March 2012, 17:37
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Issues of historical land injustices played out today in the National Land Commission Bill sitting in Nyeri town today.
This was in a forum organized by the Lands and Natural Resources Parliamentary Select Committee to collect public views, opinions, memoranda’s and submissions for the land bill to be debated in Parliament soon.
National Lands Alliance representative, Stephen Wanjohi said land injustices dating back tothe colonial era have not yet been addressed with those who fought for independence being rendered landless after eviction from their land bycolonialists.
He said the living war heroes and those surviving the deceased are still squatters in their own country they fought for and recommended that their concerns of resettlement and requisite compensation be put into consideration.
Wanjohi added that the post election victims who were evicted from their ancestral lands and concentrated in IDP camps need to be resettled in their native lands instead of settling them on alternative lands as this is negating the national cohesion in the spirit of the new constitution of according them access to their lands.
He raised concern over the manner in which the lands registry has been issuing title deeds where same land owners have been rendered landless upon eviction by those holding the title deeds which he termed as debatable.
John Mwangi, a resident of Kieni West District accused local administrators of issuing squatters plots in the settlement schemes on which they have leasehold to outsiders and asked for the government protection against these unscrupulous heads.
He said these squatters such as those in Gataragwa, formerly South Laikipia Settlement Scheme possess the old colonial title deeds under Kenya colony and needs to be issued with the current leases or the new titles to comply with the current regime.
Geoffrey Weru, Vice Chair, Mt. Kenya Council of Elders Society speaking on behalf of Mau Mau fraternity said the fighters have remained forgotten for many years since the colonial government confiscated their lands in 1954.
While hailing the current Government for recognizing them for their effort, Weru said these issues needs to be addressed promptly to end their sufferings and also compensate families of those who lost their loved ones in the struggle.
Susan Wambui who is not married and who has been residing in her father’s 1.8 acre piece of land with her eight siblings asked that the bill considers their plight as they are not entitled to inherit land.
The forum was Chaired by North Imenti MP, Cyrus Muriuki and his Ol kalou counterpart, Erastus Muriithi.
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