Land issues Dominate Kilifi Politics As Candidates Hunt Votes

Titling and ending of the squatter problems have since dominated the Kilifi Gubernatorial race as the date to the 2022 race narrows down to a close.

In the final stretch of the campaign towards next week’s General Election, the land issue is dorminating the political scene. 

Titling and ending of the squatter problems have since dominated the Kilifi Gubernatorial race as the date to the 2022 race narrows down to a close.

While the ODM Gubernatorial candidate Gideon Mung’aro a former LAnds CAS in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration has been busy issuing title deeds Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) candidate George Kithi assured residents of Kilifi that once elected there would be no demolition or eviction of squatters.

Addressing a series of rallies in Malindi constituency Kithi and his brigade said their administration will set up a kitty to acquire land belonging to absentee landlords so s to resolve the land issue amicably.

The PAA candidate who was accompanied by Party spokesman Lucas Maitha, Woman Rep Candidate Christine Zawadi, Malindi Constituency candidate Willy Mtengo together with MCA candidates toured Jilore, Kakuyuni, Ganda, Malindi town ward, and Shella ward with 12 rallies for the day.

The Kilifi Governor hopeful said as a lawyer he would not allow locals to suffer again and announced that any tycoon who would forcefully evict squatters under his watch could lose his land.

“The government has the responsibility to ensure its people live on land, you will not live on water surface so you will not go anywhere because you were born in this world,” he said.

 He said if there is anyone who claims ownership of a parcel of land he or she must show the land ownership documents.

Kithi warned the land grabbers that their days are numbered as once elected no one will be allowed to come and demolish houses for Kilifi people once he is elected.

“As the governor, I say this even if once has court orders to evict people he must go through the office of the Governor there will be no demolition its a security issue to demolish people’s houses, whoever has complaints over land and its a devolved functi8on shall have to go thro9ugh the governor to allow or disallow,” he said.

Kithi said the tendency of land owners from Nairobi or anywhere else in the county to demolish houses shall become a thing of the past.

He said those land owners must surrender their title deed and will be paid their money to ensure locals get land ownership documents and live peacefully.

“The issue of threatening people will not be tolerated anymore the squatter problem is something created once you et titles you will be able to uplift your living standards,” she said.

Mung’aro on his part said people should stop politicizing the land issue in Kilifi adding that there are so many problems affecting people.

Speaking in Ganze when issued title deeds the ODM Gubernatorial candidate said during his tenure as Lands CAS he spent much time ensuring locals get land ownership documents.

In Magarini alone Mung’aro said they set up 22 Land settlement schemes and there are 14,000 title deeds that are ready.

“If you are given a chance to serve in government with authority do it so that even when you exit the people shall benefit from your efforts,” he said.

Maitha the Pamoja African Alliance Party Spokesman said as leaders they formed PAA so as to address the historical land injustices in the Coast region.

He said during the Post Election Violence in 2007 the government under President Kenyatta bought land and settled all IDPs who had been affected by the ethnic violence.

Maitha said PAA is tired of the fake promises that land issues will be addressed and called on residents to vote for all PAA candidates in Kilifi so as to push the agenda and resolve it completely.

“I would like to urge candidates for MPs and Woman Rep in PAA to ensure once elected you push the president to set up a budget for settling squatters in the Coast region once elected,” he said.

Zawadi who is currently serving as a Nominated senator but is eying the Woman Rep Seat on a PAA ticket told Kithi to ensure that the squatter problem is completely addressed once elected as Governor of Kilifi.

“Whenever one wants to rule you always makes you a slave and poor, here we were happy and benefit from the tourism sector do you think tourists are no longer coming to Kenya? They are coming but they do not reach the Coast as they are directed to the upcountry because their aim is to make us poorer,” she said.

Locals who got title deeds in Ganze thanked the Government for issuing the land ownership documents saying successive governments had failed but President Kenyatta’s regime has helped them get the documents.