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Swazuri says NLC revoked title deeds for 9 Islands

27 January 2015, 08:13 John Kioko

Kwale - National Land Commission (NLC) chair, Mohamed Swazuri has said that they have revoked title deeds for nine Islands in Kwale County as they embark on solving land issues in the area.

Swazuri said that title deeds of the Islands at Funzi and Gazi in Msambweni were fraudulently allocated to some individuals, noting that the commission is now taking them back.

The nine islands are said to have been bought by people who apart from developing them, are also cutting down mangroves trees for sale.

Addressing Kwale County leaders and stakeholders during a workshop on Saturday at Lotfa Hotel in Diani, Swazuri directed land and forest officials and forest in the area to ensure those claiming to own the land to leave by Monday.

“The law is very clear on the issue of land that is along water sheds, public land, lakes, water catchments, public water reservoirs, and fish landing areas, riparian land and territory of the sea as well. It was a mistake to allocate such lands to individuals,” he said.

Read Also: Langata playground legally ours, say Singh brothers

He said any land that had mangroves is not supposed to be owned by individual at any given time, warning that his commission will not tolerate such people.

Swazuri also revoked a 15-acre land at Vanga sitting on mangrove trees which is being owned by a private developer.

"That land should not have been allocated to anyone in the first place. And we wonder what criteria the land officer who issued the title deed used; it is unacceptable,” said the NLC chair.

He said it was time the commission acted instead of negotiating or taking views from locals where issues of land grabbing have been detected.

Swazuri said his commission is now committed at ending most of the perennial land problems among communities through dialogue instead of courts.

He asked Kwale leadership to give them support in a bid to ensure all issues of land raised in the area are sorted out amicably.

“We inherited 5 000 pending land cases and we have been taken to court 2 000 times. That is why we decided to start dialogue with those faced with land issues,” he said.

He said it is not easy for the commission sorting out previous errors on the land issues quickly as Kenyans expected since there are processes to be followed.

“We have to sort out the biggest and fresh ones,” he added.

He said for example Lang’ata Primary School land issue was being blamed on NLC while its title was issued when he was still in class two back 1972.

“We have beaches given out in 1901 and 1908 and people are blaming it on us as well. We know all these issues but we are approaching them to ensure they are sorted out," he assured.

He appealed to leaders to give the commission support in ensure land problems in counties are solved.

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