Kajiado plot owners to get title deeds after court lifts ban

Kitengela town

An aerial photo of Kitengela town in Kajiado County.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

The Kajiado Environment and Land Court has lifted an order stopping the titling process of thousands of town plots by the county government, allowing the resumption of the process that will see at least 22,000 town plot owners receive title deeds.

In 2023, Kajiado town plot owners' welfare went to court to stop the process, but after rigorous negotiations between the various parties, they reached a consensus, prompting Kajiado Environment and Land Court Judge M.N. Gicheru to lift the suspension on June 10, 2024, by adopting the parties' agreement.

Geoflex Consultants Ltd has been allowed to survey land and process title deeds in all trading centres contracted by the county government. The firm will, however, skip any plots where title disputes have arisen.

"The consultant will observe all existing surveys within the towns, but in case the ground situation does not tally with the existing survey plan, the consultant will consult with the plot owner(s) and the county government," reads part of the inter-party agreement adopted by the court.

The Kajiado County Government (respondent) will now be required to open a special land registry for record-keeping and the provision of survey and lease certificate services. At the end of the process, the firm will hand over the lease certificate to the special registry, which will then hand it over to the plot owners.

 The devolved unit has also been mandated to open a bank account for the collection of survey and lease certificate process fees for Kajiado Town plot allottees where Geoflex Consultants Ltd (1st interested party) will be a mandatory signatory.

Embul Bul township plot owners' welfare bank account opened in 2016 for collection of survey and lease certificate process fee will be retained.

"Noonkopir Plot Owners Welfare Group will work closely with the county government and the consultant in the collection of survey and lease certificate process individual plot owners to make payments directly to the Geoflex Consultants Ltd as individual plot owners,” read part of the agreement.

All parties are to settle their legal fees.

The Lands Department had floated the idea of fast-tracking the issuance of lease titles to 37 towns comprising at least 22,000 plot owners including satellite towns in 2022 before involving the National Land Commission (NLC) and the National Surveyors of Kenya.

Most of the plot owners who spoke to the Nation in Kitengela on Saturday, June 15, 2024, expressed optimism that the process will resolve the simmering land ownership disputes.

"At least it will avert further land disputes, we will be able to plan well and secure loans from financial institutions using title deeds as collateral," said Mr John Munger, a resident of Noonkopir.

Over the years, the dispute over the ownership of land allocated by the defunct OlKejuado County Council has been prominent throughout the county. Multiple allotment letters have been issued, complicating matters.

Currently, the three private companies have been allocated seven, eight and 22 towns respectively. Each company has its area (towns) of jurisdiction.

According to an earlier Memorandum of Understanding between the county and the companies, individual landowners were required to pay Sh55,000 via a pay bill to the consultant's account, either in full or in instalments.