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Trans Nzoia County unveils taskforce to investigate land issues

A taskforce charged with responsibility of assessing and reclaiming all public land in Trans Nzoia County has been put in place.

Governor Mr Patrick Khaemba unveiled the eleven-member task force in brief ceremony at the County headquarters in Kitale town.

“The mandate of this taskforce is to conduct thorough investigations into official land records, reclaim and regularize all parcels of land belonging to the government,” stated Governor Khaemba who was flanked by his Deputy Dr. Stanley Tarus and Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Mr Samson Ojwang.

The governor regretted over what he described as increased land dispute cases involving public land in the county.

According to the county boss, some of the land cases involve prominent personalities  and private institutions who are accused of acquiring the same through fraudulent means.

“Quite a big percentage of government land has been lost through fraud, some orchestrated by political influence, with the worst scenario being the Agricultural Development Cooperation (ADC) land,” said Khaemba.

“Hence the team has an uphill assignment with a lot of expectations from both national and county governments and this calls for bravery,” he said and urged county land officers and members of public to accord the taskforce necessary cooperation.

“The county lands department should avail inventories for all public land available to enable the task force duly dispense with its core mandate,” instructed Khaemba.

The governor advised the team to ensure residents are fully involved in the exercise through public participation forums. The group is also expected to verify and authenticate land title deeds belonging to public institutions, including schools, colleges and hospitals.

The eleven members that took oath of office on Friday included Mr Habiud Wasike (Chairperson), Mrs Diana Wabwile (Secretary), Simon Chebii, Kipkorir Lagat, Emmanuel Mutange and Dorothy Nyakuri. Others are Maurice Barasa, Margaret Kogo, Robert Wasike, Zacheus Kitur and Patrick Nyongesa.

The Governor assured the public that all public land that has been grabbed or allocated through fraudulent procedures would be reclaimed.  He called on various county departments to offer maximum cooperation to the members of the task force.

By Maurice Aluda

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