Murang’a County government in partnership with Mount Kenya University (MKU) and the office of the local county commissioner have joined hands to ease the backlog of land disputes and succession cases in the county.
Governor Mwangi wa Iria and MKU vice chancellor Prof Deogratius Jaganyi signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see families with succession cases and boundary disputes get free legal assistance.
Wa Iria said the county over the years has witnessed an increased number of land succession cases which have failed to be concluded as families have been unable to cater for legal fees.
The cases, he said have made scores of families face socio-economic challenges occasioned by wrangles in the families. He noted that his administration will start registering all families with succession cases so as to allow out of court arbitration of the cases.
“The county administration with assistance from MKU School of law will assign lawyers to the families affected with the aim of ending the prolonged succession cases which have caused wrangles in many families,” said Wa Iria during an occasion which was held at Kandara grounds.
The exercise of registering the affected individuals will take a period of one month and will be conducted in all sub counties. During the occasion, several families lamented how they have been struggling to have their succession cases concluded.
Those who spoke, accused the Judiciary of taking long to solve land disputes alleging that some cases fail to be concluded in a short period of time due to corruption.
A family claimed they have been unable to bury their kin for over two years due to a land succession case.
David Mwangi lamented how they tried to bring the body of his brother for burial only to be blocked from accessing their home after a neighbor claimed the route they were using was his land.
He called upon the county administration to do surveying and establish public roads saying most of the roads and routes have been grabbed by people.
Governor Wa Iria promised that the county lands department would embark on surveying and establishing all public routes and roads.
The County Commissioner Mr. Fredrick Ndunga read riot act to chiefs who have been implicated in corrupt deals on succession cases.
Ndunga accused some chiefs for not assisting locals to end succession cases saying the administrators are well conversant with land ownership in areas of their jurisdictions.
“Chiefs know their people but unfortunately they are engaged in corruption and have caused many families to suffer. The law is clear when it comes to matters of succession. The first heir is the spouse,” added the Commissioner.
He gave the chiefs one week to rectify any manipulation they have done concerning succession issues saying in future, in any succession letter, they will be copied to the office of their respective assistant county commissioners.
Meanwhile, Ndunga ordered all brokers who have been spotted at the office of land registers to be blocked from accessing the premises.
“The police will be monitoring the operations at land’s offices and no unauthorized person will be allowed in the offices. We need to root out those who have been defrauding unsuspecting residents of their money,” he further said.
By Bernard Munyao and Anita Omwenga