By: SILAS APOLLO
The Judiciary’s plan to set up a campus of their training school in Kisumu County has hit a common road block experienced by land buying Kenyans.
Area governor Jack Ranguma admitted that most parcels in the county have either been grabbed or are allocated to more than one title holder.
Members of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), who visited the county in September have now tasked the county to prioritise the search.
The Judiciary has a plan of setting up a Judicial Training Institute with a similar college being built in Mombasa. Commissioner Emily Ominde told media that they needed space since the project was urgent.
“We cannot talk of judicial reforms when our judges still lack town houses. This is our urgent need in the quest for the country to meet the full requirement of what constitutes the real reforms,” Ms Ominde said.
However, Mr Ranguma says the issue of double allocation was a great impediment to such initiatives. He said most available spaces either have court cases or are claimed as ancestral lands whose owners have to be compensated for their use.
There is also a plan to build residential gated communities where judges can be comfortably accommodated upon deployment.
“As a county, we will look for a clean parcel. But we cannot promise it will be easier as most of the pieces of land in this town have issues. The idea of setting up the school is noble and we will not hesitate to work with the national government towards its success,” Mr Ranguma said.
CHALLENGES KEEPING INVESTORS AWAY
The governor said the situation was keeping investors away citing that the same challenges have made it impossible to get some 2,000 acres for special economic zones.
“Land problems have indeed affected investments. Even the industrial area which we sought for setting up an economic zones in line with vision 2030 has been subdivided,” he said.
Kisumu Court of Appeal Presiding Judge David Maraga said there was need to set up an anti-fraud unit of the police to deal with such cases.
“The team can spearhead the recovery of parcels of land that have such questionable ownerships,” Justice Maraga said.
Mr Aba Eban, member of the newly-created county lands development board, told Nation that land issues not only affected investments but were slowly becoming a threat to the environment.
“Riparian lands along the beaches of Lake Victoria have also been reclaimed against the requirements of the law,” Mr Eban said.
Native residents of Kisumu in Nyalenda, Kondele, Kanyakwar, Kajulu who were displaced when the town was expanded by the colonial government, have also demanded compensation whenever their pieces are required for use.
“To come out of this situation. We have always vouched for willing buyer-willing seller agreements to get land,” Mr Ranguma advised the judiciary.
SOURCE: DAILY NATION