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Lands CS Alice Wahome warns Kenyans on land transactions

By Mercy Simiyu October 17th, 2023 2 min read

Land Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome has emphasized the need for caution in land acquisition transactions.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the regional conference on customary tenure rights in East Africa on October 17, 2023, Ms Wahome urged Kenyans to be prudent when buying land and to exercise due diligence by ensuring that landowners possess clear and undisputed titles

“Kenyans must exercise caution when acquiring land and investing their money. It’s become evident that many Kenyans are quickly purchasing land, even in cases where there are unresolved issues. This impulsive behavior may stem from a mix of naivety and a cultural inclination to buy land without thoroughly addressing existing questions,” she said.

The call for caution comes against the backdrop of ongoing land disputes, notably the East African Portland land case, which has led to protracted legal battles, ownership determinations, and subsequent demolitions of homes worth hundreds of millions of shillings.

“The Ministry and the National Land Commission, given their understanding of the historical context surrounding the East African Portland land, have been involved in legal proceedings where court cases have played a pivotal role in clarifying land ownership. As a consequence of these determinations, there have been subsequent demolitions of structures on the disputed property,” she said.

Over 50 residences, including churches and mosques, were demolished in Athi River, Machakos County, since October 13, 2023, following a High Court ruling, which declared the occupation of the land illegal.

The residents who resided on the disputed East Africa Portland Cement land in Athi River have asked the government to intervene and overturn the decision, which ordered their eviction.

This comes a week after the National government, acknowledged that conflicts over land ownership and utilization persisted while highlighting the necessity to harness technology to enhance access to justice for the Kenyan population.

Absentee Landlords, Historical Land Injustice, Tenants at Will, Coastal Land Problems, Youth, and Gender issues, among others, were identified as causes of ongoing land disputes in Kenya.

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