President Uhuru Kenyatta soon will tour the Coast to issue 78,000 title deeds, Lands Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro said in Kilifi on Saturday.
He said that in Taita Taveta, the state has begun issuing 37,000 titles and 13,000 in Kwale, 21,000 in Kilifi, 3,800 in Mombasa and more than 4,000 in Lamu. He said Tana River county has challenges because many parcels belong to the community in the form of ranches.
Mung’aro said the state is also keen to address the problem of absentee landlords, which has been a major challenge for locals.
“We have absentee landlords who exist like in Mikanjuni in Kilifi. The government is buying the land to give it back to wananchi. The process is at an advanced stage as the government is left with subdivision to divide it among the locals,” he said.
Mung’aro said talks are going on between the government and other absentee landlords in Takaungu, Tezo, Basi, Roka, Mida, and Msabaha in Kilifi county.
He said the government is also in talks with the owner of Kagaa, where there are 4,200 acres in Kibarani that are full of squatters.
In Mombasa, the government has acquired 28 acres and is addressing the problem of Kwabulo.
“Many of the parcels of land where the government is in talks with the owners are in the Coast region, which shows how the government is keen to address the land issues in the region and end the squatter problem,” he said.
He said the government will open a new Lands registry office in Malindi to help people in Magarini and Malindi from travelling long distances to seek services.
“Next year we shall begin construction of Ardhi House of Malindi but for now, we shall open an office at the DCC’s office where there will be a whole department of lands and all papers belonging to Malindi and Magarini shall be available,” he said.
He said the government is in the process of acquiring parcels to give to wananchi but is finalising valuation to know the costs it will incur. He said there are many settlement schemes in Kilifi county that will settle many people.
Land ownership has been a major challenge at the Coast and the Jubilee administration in 2013 promised to fix the squatter problem.