Wednesday, October 1, 2003
Sanctity of land title deeds
By MURIITHI MURIUKI
causes major clash
Conflict over the
interpretation of the law took centre stage with MPs differing
with Lands assistant minister Orwa Ojode on repossession of
irregularly allocated land.
MPs led by Mr Simeon
Nyachae (Nyaribari Chache, Ford People) demanded to be told if the
sanctity of title deed as enshrined in the Constitution was no
longer recognised by the Narc Government in its pursuit of
illegally allocated land.
Mr Nyachae said if the
law was properly followed, title deeds once issued could not be
"We want to be told
if the title deeds issued by the previous government have become
useless documents," Mr Nyachae said.
House Speaker Francis
ole Kaparo said MPs had a legitimate concern because Kenyans were
worried about the legality of their titles.
But Mr Ojode, while in
agreement that the title deed was sacred document, said the
Government had powers to cancel letters of allotment to plots
Earlier, Mr Ojode had
declared that the Government would repossess Kenya Wildlife
Service land allocated irregularly in Mpunguti Ya Juu, Mpunguti Ya
Chini and Kisite in Shimoni, Kwale District.
Mr Ojode said the
allottees, among them former MPs Boy Juma Boy and Kassim Mwamzandi,
Nasoro Juma and Mr Bakari Ali Kasirani, had already sold the land
to third parties.
He was answering a
question from Mr Abdallah Ngonzi (Msambweni, Narc) who wanted to
know when the land would be returned to the local people since it
had been irregularly allocated to well-connected people.
Mr Ojode also announced
that the Ogiek community would be given title deeds by December.
He was responding to a question by Mr Moses Cheboi (Kuresoi,
Link : http://www.nationaudio.com/News/DailyNation/01102003/News/News0110200362.html
A New Ray of Hope
Mon., Oct. 13, 2003
|Kenya is a nation of approximately 30 million
inhabitants on the East of African coast. It nestles in a
chequered neighbourhood that includes Sudan and Ethiopia
to the north, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south
and a beautiful coastline of the Indian Ocean to east. To
the northeast is the Somalia. Its capital, Nairobi, is at
the centre of the country and is one of the largest cities
in Africa with a population of 3 million.
Kenya is blessed with a climate to envy. Most of the
country’s temperatures range between 20 degrees and 32
degrees all year round. Its terrain is no less impressive.
The magnificent view of the Great Rift Valley stretches
kilometres on end right across the length of the country.
The variety of animals and plants is one to behold.
70% of the country is arid and semi-arid land. Its
economic mainstays are agriculture and tourism. The main
crops grown are tea, coffee, cashew, maize, sugar and
pyrethrum. The per capita income of the country is
approximately 300 dollars.
The haven-of-peace reputation that the country enjoys
belies its often-violent history. In a nation of 42 tribes,
its “pre-exploration” history is one of tribe fighting
tribe and clan fighting clan for various reasons including
sheer domineering, cattle rustling (a habit that persists
to date) land and natural resources such as lakes and
rivers. The scales of damage of these inter-tribal wars,
pale in comparison to the arrival of foreigners from the
mid 15th century.
Kenya’s struggle for independence began from the very
instant that communities were forcibly evicted from
productive lands. However these resistances were initially
never more than skirmishes between colonial police and one
or a few Africans with the Kenyans almost always on the
Organized resistance begun with the emergence of educated
Africans after world war one. Most of it was underground
operating under the guise of clubs, unions or such
“acceptable” organizations. They were surprisingly
very focused on issues such as access to education for
Africans, land ownership rights and tax rates. Their
struggle however turned violent after the Second World
War. With their newly acquired military skills, they
organized communities into military units and launched a
guerrilla war that eventually forced the onset of
The nation attained independence on 12th December 1963.
The first head of state was the legendary Jomo Kenyatta.
The people of Kenya received his government with euphoria
and hope. He set out with a socialist agenda that
envisioned a country free from the triple tragedy of
disease, ignorance and poverty.
Realities of running a nation were soon to interrupt the
dream. Power struggles ensued between the ruling and
opposition parties. Solution? Consolidation of power
within the presidency. Kenya soon became a de facto one
party state (KANU). All power was vested with the
presidency robbing the judiciary of independence, election
of mandate and the government of legitimacy. Opponents
were detained without trial while real threats were “eliminated”.
Cronyism thrived and with it, its inevitable bedfellow
corruption. But Kenya was the darling of the west thanks
to the cold war. Donor funding kept pouring in while
government excesses were rarely questioned. Capitalism was
wholesomely embraced without any inconveniences of
With the death of the Kenyatta in 1978, hope fell on the
then youthful Daniel Arap Moi, Kenyatta’s long-suffering
deputy. The nation was euphoric at the energy and seeming
inclusiveness of the Moi government. The bubble however
burst with an unsuccessful coup attempt by the air force
in 1982. Moi consolidated power within the presidency in
much the same modus operandi as his predecessor; the loss
of independence of other institutions of governance.
If the preceding regime made poor governance, the Moi
regime excelled at poor governance. The grand looting of
state coffers was not only acceptable, but those appointed
to positions within the Parastatals were expected to
contribute to the ruling party’s war chest “by any
means necessary”. Political opponent were jailed,
tortured and eliminated without the inconveniences of
judicial process. Single party rule meant political doom
for those disagreeing with the often-ridiculous party
policies. Case example is where the party disciplinary
committee summoned a cabinet minister because “he did
not applaud enthusiastically enough” after a
presidential speech at a public rally.
With the fall of Russia as a super power, good governance
again became an issue for the west. The then Kenya
government faced increasing criticism from its former
paramours. The opposition to single party rule thus became
emboldened and by the end of the 1990s, the clamour for
multi-partyism was organized, effective and drawing civil
society support. Even the detentions without trial and
torture chambers could not stop the hunger for democracy
that had taken root among Kenyans. The KANU regime had but
to accept multi-party democracy with the first multi-party
elections in 1992.
In 1992 and 1997 elections, an opposition fragmented along
tribal lines handed back power to KANU. The looting of
public coffers continued with impunity. In 2002 a wiser
opposition united behind a single candidate and humiliated
KANU. The current government of NARC party currently
enjoys enormous goodwill among Kenyans and has made the
fight against corruption its primal objective. Despite
inheriting a shell of a treasury, the government has
managed to seal most haemorrhages of public money, clean
up the judiciary and is leading a constitutional review
process. Much as the current government has its fault, it
place in history is reassured as the government that
Restored Kenyan’s faith in themselves and in the
Link : http://us.oneworld.net/article/view/70268/1/