Hope for South Ngariama residents as government finally kicks off land titling process
Thousands of residents in the disputed 17,000-acre South Ngariama ranch in Mwea East Sub-County in Kirinyaga are set to be issued with title deeds as the Ministry of Lands kicks off the adjudication process.
The long-awaited exercise has kicked off with national and county government mobilizing dozens of surveyors to undertake the exercise.
The exercise kicked off with the surveyors backed by a contingent of police moving round to determining external boundaries of the settlement scheme.
This will pave way for the declaration of the area as an adjudication section before the start of internal boundaries identification.
The commencement of the adjudication exercise follows a court order issued by Justice John Mutungi sitting at Kerugoya Environment and Lands Court directing the ministry to resolve the disputes that has rocked the area for over three decades.
Assistant Director for Adjudication and Settlement in the Ministry of Lands, Ezekiel Kiania said Ezekiel Kiania said after declaration of the area as an adjudication section, the team with undertake a recognizance survey which will involve data collection on existing facilities like hospital, wetlands, riparian, schools among others.
He said that over 40 land Surveyors drawn from ministry of Lands headquarters and from the neighbouring counties will be on the ground to offer technical support to the process.
Kiania said during the exercise, all land owners are required to be present on their parcel of land with documents to prove ownership.
The exercise has renewed hope for about 8,000 residents who have been waiting for tittle deed for decades.
Kiania called on residents to support the initiative, pledging to oversee the process in a fair and transparent manner.
“Our duty here is to ensure that the rightful owners get their title deeds, and to amicably resolve any arising issue, we urge for peace and patience as we seek a solution to this problem.” he said.
The CECM for Lands, Rev. Kanjobe who represented Governor Waiguru in the public participation forum urged residents to cooperate and ensure the process was successfully concluded adding that there was political goodwill to have the residents get their land ownership documents.
During a recent visit to the area, Governor Waiguru said the adjudication and issuance of tittle deeds had been delayed by endless disputes over ownership.
“As you can recall, we had started the adjudication process but were stopped due to political interference. We are hoping that the process will be concluded and no one loses their parcel of land to middlemen and brokers,” said Waiguru.
Waiguru underscored the issuance of title deeds in South Ngariama as one of the priority objectives for her current tenure.
“We are resolute in our mission to secure title deeds for the rightful 8,200 families and reclaim unlawfully appropriated public land. We will spare no effort in achieving this goal.” She said.
The Governor further said that the County Government has no other interest than to ensure that the land matter was permanently settled.
South Ngariama residents hailed the County Government for keeping the pledge to solve the long-standing issue. Nancy Wanjiku expressed the community’s collective relief as the adjudication process commenced. She emphasized that having ownership documents will save the community from disputes within the land that at times escalated to violence or fatalities.
“In the past, the specter of violence loomed large, disrupting our children’s education and robbing us of peace. With the government initiating this crucial process, there’s newfound hope that this longstanding conflict will be laid to rest,” she remarked.”
Murimi Muciri, a resident in the area, expressed profound satisfaction as the adjudication process commenced, affirming that many in the community now felt a sense of relief. “With the titling process underway, the once prevalent unrest in our region has significantly diminished, instilling hope among residents that rightful land ownership will be restored. We are grateful for the concerted efforts of both county and national governments in addressing this long-neglected issue, ” he remarked.
Another resident, James Njagi, urged fellow South Ngariama inhabitants to exercise patience and cooperate with adjudication officers. “We are pleased that our voices have finally been heard and acted upon. It’s been a prolonged struggle, and I implore on my neighbors to allow the officers to carry out their duties diligently to ensure equitable land distribution. This collaborative approach is crucial for a swift and successful resolution,” he emphasized.
In her inauguration ceremony held in Kutus after the last elections, Governor
With the process finally underway, there is renewed hope for peace and justice among residents who have endured uncertainty and conflict over land ownership.