Friday, November 15, 2013

Cartels have taken over Lands ministry, Ngilu warns

Ehe ! Let the talking begin...........ati, the land ministry is a Company taken over by the Cartels and that, Land is not a State Office.....Yeah, did I hear right???
Then, who are the cartels.......and if you cant see them, who warned Ngilu, may be we can start from that point...............because we want to know and we are determined to know who these Cartels who owned Land's State Department in Kenya are, and how they came to own these Kenyas Public Land that are held in Trust Custody of People's Government Employee ???
Ngilu must try to make herself clear and her clarity will help save a situation it is a serious concern that peoples livelihood depends on land in a great deal to be taken for granted.
Judy Miriga
Diaspora Spokesperson
Executive Director
Confederation Council Foundation for Africa Inc.,
Cartels have taken over Lands ministry, Ngilu warns
Updated Friday, November 15th 2013 at 23:12 GMT +3
During her first day at the office, Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu now recalls, she was warned that ending corruption and entrenched land cartels at the ministry would not be as easy.
Still, the Cabinet Secretary who had served as a minister in the past two parliaments vowed to root them out.
“There is corruption of all kinds at the Lands ministry,” Ngilu told The Standard on Saturday in an exclusive interview.
“I was warned that the lands office was a company and not a State office. I want to return it to Kenyans and this is not going down well with those who are involved in the shady land deals. They (cartels) are here… they are everywhere but you can’t see them.”
The delay of issuing title deeds was her first encounter with the reality of how the process had been tampered to favour the land barons who include the lands officials at her ministry, right from the headquarters to the district land officers.
The officers, according to Ngilu, were working with influential businessmen, politicians and government officials in falsifying land registration documents that resulted in the issuance of more than one title deed in most parts of the country, especially at the Coast.
Soon after her surprise appointment, Ngilu was tasked with ensuring that some 100,000 titles were ready to be issued at the Coast in line with Jubilee’s 100-days-in-office pledge to the people of Coast.
Ngilu appointed Peter Kahuho as the director of lands, a post she later revoked following outcry from MPs that the office was unconstitutional.
She got a reprieve after Jubilee alliance leaders opposed a planned censure motion against her.
Asked why she had appointed Kahuho for the post that almost cost her a cabinet post, Ngilu said she wanted change and sanity at the Lands office. “In the transition period there are bound to be challenges faced by all of us. And to err is human. What surprises me is how this matter was pounced on certain people. Was it about the appointment which I corrected by revoking or there was more?”
According to Ngilu, the drive to change the people who have been involved in land administration for long triggered off panic among the cartels and their masters fought back.
“Many of these cartels have planted themselves in every corner and they are always faceless to the public. They operate through brokers. They could be your friends by day and enemies at night,” she said when asked if she knew any of the said cartels.
She said her plans to digitise the ministry’s systems where unexpected and had the cartels worried.
The digitisation plan is expected to replace files and long queues that characterise the Lands Registry. She said: “The current system has fuelled corruption and delays in land transactions. .”
She said the ministry deals with matters of land ownership through records and files which are in manual form giving room for manipulation. “Many parcels of land have more than one file. File tracking is still very manual and tedious and we want to end this through digitisation.”
She said currently, the Lands ministry is faced with over 7,000 cases arising out of land transactions.
“I have been directed to ensure that no one benefits from irregular allocation of lands and title deeds that were issued irregularly be revoked,” she said.
She said some powerful forces who have served in the past and current governments had strategically placed their people in almost all sectors at Ardhi House where many are informers and act as conveyer belts in the illegal land deals.
“Some have been here long enough and their masters don’t want them touched. I am determined to bring this to end at whatever the cost,” she said.
She said she is facing resistance from the people who have benefitted from the illegal land allocations but promised to soldier on until this is reversed.
She urged prominent people who grabbed or were irregularly allocated land to surrender it to the government or risk being named and shamed.

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