Team set up to help public schools acquire title deeds

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Pupils of Langata Primary School demonstrate along Langata road in protest of the grabbing of their playground in 2015. /PATRICK VIDIJA

The government has established a multi-agency team to oversee the acquisition of title deeds for all public schools.

In a Gazette notice dated November 1, Education CS Amina Mohamed and her Lands counterpart Farida Karoney appointed 15 people who will steer the programme. It is chaired by Sylvester Mulambe.

The members are Alfred Mwanzia, Alice Nyakiogora, Caroline Wanjiku, Clarah Chemutai, Edith Olando, Gabriel Muthama, Martin Andati, Mary Ngundo, Meshack Odima, Polly Gitimu, Silvester Osondo, Stephen Gichana, Stephen Ondongo and Weldon Maritim.

“They are members of the multi-agency working group to fast-track school land titling, with effect from the date of publication of this notice,” the notice reads.

In 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Lands ministry to give title deeds to all schools. The directive came in the wake of wanton grabbing of schools’ land.

In May, Ruiru MP Simon King’ara drafted a Bill to compel the government to issue title deeds to all public institutions to lock out grabbers.

Lack of title deeds exposes public institutions to greedy individuals, he said.

The MP said more than 70 per cent of public institutions, including old ones, are at risk of being grabbed. Fifteen per cent of them have filed land cases.

Grabbing of public school land has become a major problem countrywide. “We want the government to issue title deeds to all gazetted public institutions. Land without a title deed is an easy target for cartels,” King’ara said.

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He said a Lands office should be set up in Ruiru to fast-track processing of title deeds. It is the duty of the government to guard public property, King’ara said.
The MP, a member of the National Assembly Lands committee, said the government will forcibly evict grabbers from public land.

King’ara said Ruiru has an alarming shortage of schools. A classroom in most Ruiru primary and secondary schools accommodates more than 170 students, instead of the set number of 50.

Kang’ara said it is hard to find land in Ruiru to build a school because most public land has been grabbed.

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