A report by President William Ruto to Parliament on the 2023 State of National Security, highlighted Counties that experienced widespread land dispute cases.
According to the report filed before the August House in November, 6 counties across the country have the highest number of land and border disputes.
Listed in the report were Narok, Nakuru, Kisii, Meru, Turkana and Isiolo counties.
“During the year under review, 25 cases of land and boundary disputes were reported in which 4 people were killed, 13 others injured, and property of unknown value destroyed.
President William Ruto speaking in Olopirik village, Narok County on September 30, 2023.
“These disputes were mainly attributed to disagreements over grazing land, political and administrative boundaries, as well as unresolved inter-communal feuds,” read the report in part.
On the other hand, it was noted that the expiry of land leases in various parts of the country saw several land invasions.
This was mostly witnessed in counties where foreign companies hold large parcels of land for agricultural activities.
As highlighted in the report, Kericho and Bomet recorded the highest number of such disputes.
“Other invasions on private land were witnessed in Nakuru, Kiambu and Narok counties.
“Additionally, there were encroachments on land held by Government institutions, including the Kenya Defence Forces, Kenya Prisons and the National Police Service in different parts of the country,” the report noted in part.
Regarding the forms of land fraud that were witnessed in fraudulent registration, double registration was common in most parts of the country.
Ruto also noted that the sale of public land to innocent buyers also featured predominantly during the year.
Some of the renowned public land recoveries that were done by various agencies including the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) included the Kisite Mpunguti Marine Reserve and Chale Island in Kwale County.
Government housing land in Nakuru Country and Kiambu were also established to have been grabbed by private developers.
“Going forward, the Government is committed to building more Land Registries, rolling out the digitization of land records countrywide and conducting public awareness on land matters to create a greater understanding of what is needed to secure and protect their land rights.
“Continue with the recovery of public land and restoring it for its intended use and issue titles to land owners,” Ruto noted.
Land CS Alice Wahome at the Kilifi County Lands Registry on November 6, 2023.
Notably, the Ministry of Lands led by Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome also proposed to establish a due intelligence body which will help during the process of purchasing land.
She also cautioned Kenyans that the government would not be responsible for refunds should it be established that they are not the legitimate owners of a given piece of land.
Precautions to Exercise When Buying Land
- Carry out due diligence on the piece of land, area and the seller.
- Verify the documents at the Ministry of Lands offices.
- If need be, consult lawyers and local land officials for advice before making any payments for the land.