President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered a complete audit of land records to root out irregularities in land transactions.
The president further put corrupt lands officials on notice, saying no one will be allowed to derail the pledges the Jubilee Coalition made to Kenyans, particularly addressing the land problem.
“We are committed to fulfilling the pledges we made to Kenyans. Addressing the land problem in the country is a step towards achieving that goal,” he said.
President Kenyatta was speaking on Saturday in Pate island, Lamu County where he issued over 2,000 title deeds to residents.
He emphasized that land officials should stop allocating land to themselves and their cronies illegally, warning that those found to have engaged in irregularities will be disciplined.
He directed civil servants to embrace change in line with the Government’s transformative agenda or risk losing their jobs.
“The proverbial 40 days are over for lands officials who have been a stumbling block to conclusion of land adjudication in various parts of the country,” the president said.
The head of state welcomed investors to the country but emphasized that legal means should be used in acquiring land.
He informed those receiving title deeds that all fees had been met by the government and urged them to use the documents to obtain loans that will transform their lives.
“This will empower individuals and families and advance the government’s agenda of eradicating poverty and growing the economy,” he said.
Responding to requests by local leaders, President Kenyatta assured Kenyans that the government was computerising all land records to improve efficiency.
He disclosed that the government intends to issue 3 million title deeds to Kenyans in the next five years.
On the LAPSSET project, President Kenyatta said the government has set aside Sh20 million to train 1,000 youth in Lamu County who will be employed in the project.
He said his government will ensure a Lamu County representative included in the LAPSSET Board when constituted.
On education, President Kenyatta said 100 more teachers will be recruited from Lamu County to ease the existing understaffing.
He told parents in Lamu and other counties in the Coast region to educate their children to prepare them for managerial positions.
He said Lamu Hospital, which was in a deplorable state, would benefit from Sh200 million as part of the grant pledged by the Chinese Government during his recent state visit.
Deputy President William Ruto said the government was working hard to correct past injustices in land transactions where influential personalities irregularly acquired large tracts of land at the expense of ordinary Kenyans.
The Deputy President said it was unacceptable that less than 100 wealthy people shared out 1 million acres of land while ordinary citizens, who are the majority, only owned less than two acres each.
Local leaders, led by Lamu Governor Issa Timamy and area MP Shariff Athman assured the president that Lamu residents fully supported the LAPSSET project which would open up the area to investors.