Makueni County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed has urged residents to use alternative disputes mechanisms to resolve land cases instead of going to court.
Mohammed said court cases take long to resolve further causing animosity among the warring parties.
He said the constitution provides opportunity for mediation to resolve disputes and urged residents to use the existing structures like elders and local administration to settle their cases.
“We have respected elders conversant with the areas under dispute and be very resourceful in determining the matter, instead of seeking legal redress that is usually protracted,” said Mohammed.
The County Commissioner speaking Wednesday at Kasikeu in Mukaa sub-county during the issuance of 3,178 title deeds, also directed all Deputy County Commissioners chairing land boards to ensure that all family members are involved, especially when land is being sold to avert future land disputes.
He also urged dependants whose parents have sold sections of their land but are now deceased to respect the decision and follow up on the succession case as required by the law.
“There are some children who chase away people who bought land from their parents. It is unfair because the proceeds of the land was used to educate them,” said Mohammed.
The areas that benefited from the titling exercise include Kiou, Wathini, Mutiswa and Mumela which have been under adjudication since 1991.
The county commissioner said so far more than 145,249 title deeds have been issued since January last year.
He reiterated the government’s commitment in fast-tracking pending areas under adjudication which include Kambu, Mukange, Mangelete and Kaunguni in Kibwezi Sub-county.
Speaking at the same event, Makueni Governor Prof. Kivutha Kibwana regretted that 1,676 households could not get title deeds due to pending land disputes in Kasikeu and echoed the county commissioner’s sentiments on alternative dispute resolution.
“About 4,800 title deeds could have been issued today but because of pending cases 3,178 were issued,” said the governor.
He appealed to parents to allocate land to their children especially the youth to enable them engage in income generating activities for self-reliance.
Prof. Kibwana said that his government will closely work with the national government especially on matters related to land and warned corrupt land officers of dire consequences.
“This exercise of issuance of title deeds has been successful due to the collaboration between the two levels of government because we are both serving the same people,” he said.
On his part, the County Lands and Urban Planning Executive Julius Kaloi put on notice residents who had encroached on public land.
“By next month, we are going to evict those that have put structures and they should remove them before we start implementing the plan for towns and urban areas that was approved by the county assembly,” said Kaloi.
By Patrick Nyakundi and Roselyne Kavoo