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Implement land report fast

Sunday September 24 2017

EDITORIAL
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Land cartels have driven many to early deaths and impoverished Kenyans for decades.

To rid the system of this malaise a taskforce to investigate status of lease renewals and extensions, which was set up by Lands Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi in February this year, submitted its final report this week.

The taskforce, which was chaired by the former chairman of the Institute of Surveyors of Kenya (ISK) and land policy expert, Mr Ibrahim Mwathane, has made radical proposals which ought to be implemented urgently and fully in order to break the back of vicious well-connected land cartels at Ardhi House.

With the passing of the new Constitution in 2010, many Kenyans hoped the era of the cartels who brazenly grabbed public and private land under the old order had finally come to an end.

THRIVED

However, they have been proved wrong. The cartels have instead thrived under the new order, going as far as openly targeting prime properties in major towns whose leases were about to expire. 

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It was the public hue and cry that followed violent, unlawful evictions and demolition of properties in Nairobi owned by illiterate or elderly Kenyans of Asian or European descent that prompted the formation of the taskforce.

No doubt this will be hotly contested by affected parties. Such a move will also expose financial institutions that might have given out loans using the title deeds in question as security. However, something must give.

Kenya has a history of taskforces formed to mollify public anger but whose reports are never implemented. We hope the Mwathane report will not be one. 

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