I'm leaving head high, says Swazuri - Daily Nation

Criticisms against NLC just sideshows, says Swazuri on his way out

Monday February 18 2019

Outgoing National Lands Commission Chairman

Outgoing National Lands Commission Chairman Prof Muhammad Swazuri addresses the press at Tononoka Social Hall on February 18, 2019 when he issued a report on a dispute between Mombasa landlords and tenants. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By WACHIRA MWANGI
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Outgoing National Lands Commission (NLC) chairman Muhammad Swazuri say he has no regrets or apologies to make for not working with his commissioners.

The chairman said the Commission had made a lot of success in the last four years since they were appointed in office and the ‘sideshows’ are by detractors who are not happy with their work.

He said he had no regrets for not working with his fellow commissioners as he was complying with a court order.

“That was law, a court order, it is not me. I have been going to office every day. It is a matter in court. I don’t regret anything. I will walk with my head high because I have been resolving people’s issues I can walk without any fear,” Prof Swazuri said.

MEDIA ONSLAUGHT

Speaking when issuing a report at Tononoka Hall on dispute between Mombasa landlords and tenants over values of plots, the chairman blamed the media for his woes.

“Unfortunately, the media has made me very popular and famous and I don’t regret. They have been paid by those who have stolen public land to tarnish his good name," he claimed.

Mr Swazuri said NLC had made strides in resolving many land cases.

“If we had the resources, we would have done everything as required by law. But as you know there are so many factors to consider. Despite all these factors, we have done beyond expectations. The reason why we are being fought is because of our successes.

People are not happy that a commission that was created just the other day would have achieved these things, then that is why we have a smear campaign coming in,” he added.

Mr Swazuri said had delivered more than Ministry of Lands has since independence.

“I know we have given thousands of land titles. We have facilitated 81 government projects in four years which some have failed to do in 100 years," he said.

"We have resolved problems like this one of today, weren’t there ministries before NLC? There were mechanisms to resolve disputes but they never resolved,” he said.

He said the Commission had taken the perennial land problems head on, solving the Waitiki land issue in Likoni, Maili Tisa and others countrywide.

“We have sorted out historical land injustices and their root is here in the Coast which was heavily dominated by foreigners. We have resolved more than 262 cases of land injustices that were not done before,” he said.

'SATISFIED'

He said he wasn’t looking for fame or to be popular but only meant to deliver to Kenyans, adding that he is happy and leaving NLC as satisfied man.

“A good leader must collide with others. I am very happy and satisfied. If you want to be popular go sell ice-cream,” he said, repeating a line popularly used in Hollywood movies.

He said nobody could solve all the land problems in Kenya "as one solution creates a problem" and wished well those who will take over after he exits.

Among the achievements, he is proud of is seeing Lamu County residents acquire title deeds.