KWALE, Kenya, Apr 23 – Over 15,000 residents of Maji ya Chumvi area in Kinango Constituency in Kwale County have protested over delayed issuance of their title deeds.
According to the residents, their land was surveyed in June last year and they were supposed to be issued with title deeds in January this year.
However, a certain investor has come out to protest that the 8,000-acres of land that were surveyed belong to him and that the residents should not be given the title deeds.
On Tuesday, the residents protested at Mwangoloto trading centre demanding to know why their title deeds have been withheld at the Kwale County Lands Registrar’s office.
Led by Duncan Nyawa, 67, they said that the 8,000-acres are being targeted by private investors.
The area is rich with stones used for construction and is also adjacent to the Mombasa-Nairobi highway, therefore making it favourable for big industries.
Nyawa said four villages of Katsimba Lwena, Mwangoloto, Mdzinzi and Deri occupy the 8,000 acres which are being claimed by the said investors.
“Last year June, land officials came and curveted this area. They then issued a 60-day notice for whoever that had an objection. No single person came out to object, but when were about to receive our title deeds, someone comes out stop the entire exercise,” said Nyawa.
Dzomo Ngala, a 70-year-old resident, who was also the chairperson of the community during the surveying of the land, said they are afraid chaos might erupt.
“Recently, over 70 men came and attacked our youth who were mining the building stones at the quarries. When our youth went to report to the police, they were arrested and, as we speak, they are still in custody,” said Ngala.
Priscilla Luli Mwaghogho, a pastor with a local church in the area, said national government should intervene and resolve the problem.
“Our titles were ready for issuance. Who is holding the title deeds? Where was this person when the land was being surveyed?” she posed.