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Governor Kihika lifts 20-year caveat

Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika has lifted a 20-year caveat, thereby allowing owners of large swathes of land hived off from the expansive Mau Forest to develop them.

According to the governor, locals and registered companies owning land would be issued title deeds, thereby unlocking various economic activities, including the development of the parcels through bank loans.

“Now that the caveat has been lifted, you will have access to financial institutions such as banks and microfinance entities to get loans that will enable you to comfortably engage in various development activities,” said Kihika.

The affected areas are the tea plantation-rich Olenguruone region in Kuresoi South sub-county, which includes Ambusket, Chepakundi, Kiptagich, Cheptuech, and KTDA, while the fate of other areas still under caveat that are undergoing verification in Kuresoi North, Njoro, Molo, and parts of Kuresoi South will be known soon.

Two months ago, leaders from this region weighed in heavily on this matter and pleaded with the government to lift the caveat imposed as it had condemned the locals to abject poverty despite having titles for the parcels of land as they were uncertain over the ownership of the land they resided in.

Governor Kihika observed the sluggish nature of development in the affected areas and called upon the government to act fast and give the locals the capability to compete effectively in development issues.

“It is unfortunate that people living in parcels of land under caveat cannot engage in any economic activity; thus, the need for the government to intervene and lift the ban on this will create a vibrant economy in such areas,” said Kihika. She was addressing the locals of Amalo Ward in Kuresoi South sub-county.

The legislators pushing for this include Kuria Kimani of Molo sub-county, Joseph Tonui of Kuresoi South, Charity Kathambi of Njoro, and Alfred Mutai of Kuresoi North, who, on their part, saw that the caveat has made the locals suffer in many ways, to the extent of creating animosity among the locals.

“By lifting the ban, it will not only enhance proper planning by the locals but also the county and national government and have an equitable distribution of resources,” noted Tonui.

Kathambi went ahead to raise the issue at the National Assembly to get to know when the lifting would be done on the issuance of titles in the affected areas.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Zack Njeru is expected to formalise the government’s decision regarding the lifting of the caveat next week, and wananchi are full of praise for the president.

By Emily Kadzo and Lauryn Njambi

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