Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Home > Counties > Chiefs told to work with courts for smooth land succession

Chiefs told to work with courts for smooth land succession

Chiefs in Homa Bay county have been told to be properly acquainted with succession laws and assist courts facilitate smooth transfer of property to heirs.

Homa Bay County Commissioner Moses Lilan said chiefs are instrumental for the courts in identification of heirs.

The administrator said the chiefs must ensure fairness and justice prevails in succession of property of deceased persons.

He made the remarks yesterday during a workshop to train chiefs in a Homa Bay hotel sponsored by Habitat for Humanity organisation.

The administrators were trained by officials from the judiciary and lands office on land ownership and rights

Lilan noted that Chiefs were well acquainted with all aspects of the communities they served in and were well placed to advise courts in land matters.

He commended Habitat for Humanity Kenya for working with different government agencies to come out with best approaches in solving land issues.

Ms Vivian Lisenja, Community Development Officer in the organisation said their aim is to empower vulnerable communities from being denied access to land.

She said every land owner needs to know how he or she can get a land title deed.

“Vulnerable families need to know where they can be assisted and it is the chiefs who should have this information before they pass it to their people,” Ms Lisenje said.

In the training the administrators were trained on the Land Succession Act and other laws.

Homa Bay High Court Judge Waweru Kiarie said cases were rampant of strangers who come out to claim ownership of land and property of deceased persons.

In such circumstances, Chiefs are required to help in identifying genuine family members of the deceased person.

When there is land succession which are taken through a court process, chiefs are required to write an introductory letter to the court telling the judge about the family members of the deceased.

“A lot of people have been claiming to be related to a deceased person and claim land and property. This is where chiefs come in,” Justice Kiarie said.

He said it was the mandate of chiefs to help courts identify genuine heirs.

Justice Waweru noted that there have been cases of violence in the county where families fight over land.

The Judge said all chiefs needs to familiarise themselves with laws of succession and be able to guide parties to the right channel when they are unable to address dispute over land ownership.

Homa Bay Law Society of Kenya Chairperson Quinter Adoyo said many of the cases being handled in courts have land issues in the background.

She said some families have been fighting over land before the matter escalates to other cases.

The High Court Advocate said the training will ensure cases involving land are reduced in courts.

‘Some people have lost their property for not following the law. When purchasing land, ensure you follow all the due process,” Ms Adoyo said.

By Davis Langat

Leave a Reply