Kajiado Governor Lenku Bans Subdivision of Rural Land into ‘Uneconomic’ Units

Hundreds of people may find themselves with worthless titles to pieces of land in Kajiado over the advertisement of “fake” plots for sale in the county, Governor Joseph Ole Lenku has warned.  Mr Lenku, who made the statement over the weekend, also indicated that the county will not be approving the subdivision of any rural land into “uneconomical” pieces.  “Any hawking of quarter-acre pieces of land in the heart of Kajiado is fake and will not be tolerated and that is the official position of the Kajiado County Government,” said Mr Lenku.

By this edict, Mr Ole Lenku will find himself on a collision course with land-buying companies that buy large pieces of land and subdivide it into small portions of up to an eighth and later sell it unsuspecting persons.  Most affected is land in Kajiado West, some parts of Kajiado East and Central.

The County Executive in charge of land, Mr Hamilton Parseina, gave the example of a group ranch in Kajiado West, which was subdivided and members acquired title deeds. “Other areas in Kajiado West include, Oltinga, Ilnaroj and Saikeri,” he explained. “In Kajiado East, we have land in Kisaju, Isinya, Mashuru and Kenyawa, while in Kajiado Central we have Matapatato and Ildamat.”

He warned people who are planning to buy land in these areas to do due diligence before forking out their hard-earned money.  “We are not going to do any approvals for whatever kind of development in these areas as it is illegal,” added Mr Parseina.

Welcomes investors

Mr Ole Lenku, however, maintained that the county welcomes investors but that land demarcation plans should be respected.  “We want to make it clear that Kajiado is an investment-friendly county,” he explained.  “We have land for industries, housing, ranching and wildlife. It should strictly be used for what it was intended for. If you find yourself in an area designated for wildlife, do not attempt to make it a human settlement.”

He said that unscrupulous businessmen have colluded with crooked land officials to short-circuit the system. “Stand warned that if you are trying to split land beyond what the county has zoned for, know that it is an exercise in futility. If you bribed your way to get, we shall right it,” said the governor.  Mr Ole Lenku vowed to preserve the Maasai pastoral way of life.

“We want to also recognize that Kajiado is largely a pastoralist county other than for the designated areas.

“Uneconomic” units

Mr Parseina told the Nation that subdivision of land into “uneconomical units” is unlawful and that the county government has not been involved. “Most of the land being subdivided is listed as agricultural land. What they are doing is illegal,” he said on phone.

The National Land Commission has expressed support over the move. NLC vice-chair Abigael Mbagaya said the Commission had received hundreds of complaints about plots that are 200 kilometres away from their advertised locations.  “The adverts are misleading. We urge investors to do due diligence with the county government. Most of the small plots being hawked are unsustainable,” said Mrs Mbagaya.

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