President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday issued the Nubian community with a title deed for 288 acres of land in Kibra.
President Kenyatta issued a certificate of incorporation for the land that was part of the Kibra military reserve, which was originally 4,197 acres. The Kibra military reserve was established in 1902.
Over the years, parts of the reserve, where the Nubians were settled by the colonial government, were taken up by public utilities, including Nairobi National Park, the Lang’ata Cemetery, Lang’ata Women’s Prison, Jamhuri Park showground and residential estates.
Since Kenya gained independence, the Nubian community has been pleading with successive governments to issue them with titles for what was left of the land.
At State House in Nairobi on Friday, President Kenyatta told Nubian leaders, led by Sheikh Issa Abdulfaraj, the chairman of the Council of Elders of the Kenyan Nubians, that “ultimately we have found justice for you and I am very proud.”
The President said the government will work with the community to make their land a model city by providing proper planning and public utilities.
“Kibra should not be a tourist venue for people to come to see desperation and poverty,” said the President.
President Kenyatta’s objective is to secure the interests of the community and to help them secure funds through partnerships to develop the land more optimally for the communities residing in the area.
The Head of State said the government does not expect the issuing of the title deed to cause any disharmony.
“You have lived in Kibra for many years without knowing whether you will continue living in your home the next day but that problem is now over,” he said and pledged to work with Nubians so that they can live with dignity, pride and prosperity.
Besides being a bold move by President Kenyatta to solve a historical injustice, the issuing of the ownership title also brings to focus the achievement of Jubilee’s promise on title deeds.
The government has already issued more than 2.8 million title deeds and Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said his ministry will issue more than 200,000 within the next two months.
Prof Kaimenyi said the Jubilee government has reformed the administration of land matters to remove bottlenecks that were in the past used to stifle access to titles or even for corrupt purposes.
He said the government has waived charges for land searches to remove a burden that restricted poor people from using the service.
He said the government has also embarked on a process to issue all public schools with title deeds and the first county that has benefited is Uasin Gishu, where 1,000 schools have received the documents.