NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – Members of Parliament have raised fears of double land titling in Embakasi West constituency if the law firms tasked with processing the titles do not cooperate.
This emerged after Lawyer Kamau Mbugua from Mbugua Atudo and Macharia Advocates told the National Assembly Lands Committee that his firm has now received 967 ownership documents and he was not aware of 822 titles processed by Musyoka Annan firm.
“What we received were allotment letters and by now we have prepared 967 ownership documents and out of these 967, five hundred and sixty six leases have been executed by the owners. Some of the allotments were done in the 70s,” Mbugua said.
According to Mbugua, five law firms were contracted by the Nairobi County Government to process titles for the land owners, a statement that made Committee Members led by Lungalunga MP Khatib Mwashetani to raise concerns about double allocation.
“The County Government contracted us and other four firms whom we have been doing this job with and I am not aware of how many titles have been prepared by the Musyoka Annan firm. I also do not know if they are holding any mother title,” Mbugua said.
His statement was not well received by MPs who questioned Mbugua on the measures they have put in place to avoid double allocation.
“There was another firm that appeared before us last week and they said they holding five head titles and you have already admitted that you are not even aware of the 822 titles they have processed. How sure are you that you are not processing leases and titles for the same parcel of land? Because now there is likelihood of double allocation,” Mwashetani expressed.
His sentiments were backed by Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny who called on the lawyers to come up with a clear guideline showing that there will be no double titling as they continue with their job.
“We as the committee need to know how you and other firms will work together because it is true that before you were brought on board, there was another firm that was doing this work. We need to know that you are not repeating a process that has been done before,” Kutuny said.
Mbugua was answering a petition filed by Embakasi West MP George Theuri where the county is being accused of taking money from Embakasi residents since 1993 yet no title deed has been issued.
There has been a back and forth over who is to blame between lawyers and the Nairobi County Government over delay in issuance of titles to Eastlands land owners who are already said to have paid Sh30,000 for the processing.
Two weeks ago, Musyoka Anna law firm blamed the county for the delay.
The firm which was contracted to deal with the processing of the title deeds admitted before the National Assembly Lands Committee that the county has been holding important documents needed for the processing.
“There has been lack of cooperation between my office and those who occupied offices frequently in City Hall. With every regime change, things took a different turn to the extent madam chair, that as we sit here now, we have 174 documents lying in City Hall waiting for execution fully paid for but have not been returned to us,” said Annan at the time.
The county is further accused of changing lawyers every time the issue of title deeds is raised by those affected.
In May last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the Nairobi Eastlands Titling Programme where he issued 50,000 title deeds to Nairobi residents to unlock Sh20 billion in business and investment.
He further said that 100,000 title deeds would be given to land owners by the county, without any charges an announcement that has so far not been honoured.