National Land Commission chairperson Muhammad Swazuri has assured squatters laying claim to a controversial 1,750-acre land in Ngelani, Machakos county of resettlement in the next three months.
He said the quota will be allotted parcels in the colonial land LR12610/1-5 after they present original ownership documents.
Mr. Swazuri said the commission will follow due legal procedures to return the land to the residents adding that they have received complaints of grabbers who have invaded the land.
“The commission has a mandate of resettling Kenyans on idle land without ownership. The government can decide to revert such land to residents or locals can make requests for them to be given the land.”
The National Lands Commission chair spoke during a meeting over the land on Thursday.
He was accompanied by Mavoko MP Patrick Makau, Machakos county commissioner Matilda Sakwa, Athi River deputy county commissioner Geoffrey Omoding among other leaders.
“As a commission, it is our mandate to verify that the land has no legitimate owner then we can make a decision on how to revert the same to the residents,” Swazuri said.
“It is not right for people to go around claiming that this land is theirs yet there are genuine owners. Those who have the right documentation will get their portions.”
He said the commission regrets that people have lost lives and sustained injuries while fighting for the Ngelani land in Athi River.
“We do not want Kenyans to kill themselves because of land. The government has a right to protect citizens and their property,” Swazuri said.
The land was reportedly used by the colonial government but residents want it back claiming it belongs to their ancestors.
Swazuri said the commission will conduct search to verify claimed title deeds.
“NLC will go to the Lands offices in Machakos and Nairobi to confirm if there is anybody with title deeds claiming the land’s ownership.”
He said NLC will publish the title numbers in the Star, Nation, Standard newspapers, and the Kenya Gazette so that those with title deeds present them to the commission.
The Chairman said the land will be reverted to the government before the squatters are resettled after the 21 days, effective date of publication of the details, elapse.
Swasuri said any document presented to the commission claiming ownership will be vetted adding that the process should be complete by March 2018.