President Uhuru Kenyatta has directed all Cabinet Secretaries (CSs) to complete the issuance of pending title deeds under the "National Titling Programme" by July 20.
Through a memo sent by the Head of Public Service Mr Joseph Kinyua on Monday, the CSs have been directed to liaise with respective regional commissioners to fast-track the process that was kicked off by President Kenyatta on June 22.
“As part of his remarks during the ceremony, the Head of State and government directed all CSs to lead in the issuance and conveyance of the one million out of the six million title deeds that have not been vested in their rightful holders,"the memo states in part.
The titles are being distributed to Kenyans who have suffered long and protracted land disputes across the country and are part of President Kenyatta’s administration’s strategy to end historical land injustices in the country.
The Ministry of Lands kicked off the National Land Titling Programme in 2013 as part of the Jubilee manifesto to restore the dignity of a majority of Kenyan families who have struggled to get titles for their land.
“As an answer to the land question in Kenya, the Administration has realized accelerated reforms in the land sector and scaled up the issuance of title deeds by issuing six million title deeds; compared to 5.6million title deeds issued by the colonial government and all the past administrators combined,” the memo added.
The programme also aims at resolving uncertainties that have locked out land owners and businesses from accessing credit facilities from financial institutions.
It has also enabled the government to secure the country’s natural resources and heritage sites like the Mau forest, Nairobi National Park, City Park, Maasai Mara Game Reserve and others that were at the risk of being grabbed.
The latest phase of the programme kicked off on June 22 when President Kenyatta flagged off the issuance of one million title deeds out of the six million issued under his administration.
Amongst the recipients of the documents in this phase are women living in marginalised areas such as Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit counties; families living in former colonial villages such as Nyandarua as well as the victims of land cases in group ranches across the country. This categopry includes Kihiu Mwiri in Murang’a, Embakasi Ranching in Nairobi, Nyakinyua in Trans Nzoia, Mikanjuni in Kilifi as well as others in Kajiado, Narok, West Pokot, Taita Taveta, Laikipia, Samburu and other parts of the country.
“I am honoured to have been the president who handed over a title deed to the first woman land owner in Marsabit; a feat that was unthinkable a decade ago when it was culturally held that women could not hold a title in land,” the President said at the time.
The programme will also see all land belonging to public institutions documented and issued with title deeds.
According to the schedule, the CSs will distribute 1,000,022 title deeds in 42 counties and file back ministerial returns by July 21.