Lands Minister James Orengo on Wednesday ordered hundreds of families recently evicted from two settlements in Mombasa to return to their land.
The minister declared that the procedure used in evicting the families from their plots at Dunga Unuse in Changamwe and Kwa Bulo in Kisauni two weeks ago was flawed and violated their rights.
Mr Orengo, who toured the two areas in the company of six local MPs, blamed the Judiciary for issuing court orders without giving instructions on how the evictions should be carried out.
He said his ministry is negotiating with the Judiciary so that they can be involved whenever orders are issued for evictions.
“I have ordered all those holding titles for land in the two regions to surrender them to me for verification and also to explain how they acquired them,” Mr Orengo said.
He added: “Whenever a court issues any eviction order, we want it to state how the exercise will be carried out and how evictees will be compensated.”
The minister also promised to process land titles to the people living in the two regions and other parts of the province.
“We are acquiring idle and grabbed public land and allocating it to the indigenous people. It is wrong for a resident to live like a squatter while people from outside the Coast have title deeds,” he said.
The Minister’s move contravenes a court order for eviction of people from the 88-acre parcel of land at Kwa Bulo and a four-acre plot at Dunga Unuse.
The Lands Minister also condemned use of excessive force by police officers while executing their duties, especially during home demolitions.
Cannot allow such
“I have written to the Provincial Administration and Internal Security Minister to take action against the officers who smashed Environment assistant minister Ramadhan Seif Kajembe’s vehicle. We cannot allow such incidents to continue,” Mr Orengo said.
His directive that residents remain in the controversial parcels of land will end the long rift between Coast MPs and the Provincial Administration.
The politicians have accused Coast PC Ernest Munyi and his officers of colluding with land grabbers, saying, he should be transferred.
Mr Orengo was accompanied by MPs Kajembe, Dan Mwazo (Voi), Gideon Mung’aro (Malindi), Omar Zonga (Msambweni), Masoud Mwahima (Likoni) and Kisauni’s Ali Hassan Joho.