Controversial Maweni Mtwapa Settlement Scheme: Court orders halt on title deed issuance

The Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning has been ordered to halt the issuance of title deeds at the controversial Maweni Mtwapa Settlement scheme until a case filed by residents is heard and determined.

Justice Evans Makori issued the conservatory orders at the Environment and Lands Court in Malindi restraining the Ministry of Lands and physical planning, the National Land Commission, the Kilifi County Lands and Settlement Officer, the Land Registrar Kilifi and the County government of Kilifi who are respondents in the case.

More than 1,400 residents had moved to court through their representatives Stephen Kahindi Ngumbao, Gladys Riziki Nyamawi, Hassan Mzee Khamis, George Wanje Chonjo, Mwarua Tsongo, Sabina Mutua, Julius Dzombo Nguma, Faith Mutheu, Thomas Safari and Irey Abdi to protest the alleged illegal titling process that saw strangers and non- locals being allocated land on the disputed parcels MN/III/324 and MN/III/334 measuring 57 acres.

“That in order to preserve the suit property title numbers MN/III/324 and MN/III/334 Mtwapa Kilifi County, conservatory order do issue in the interim restraining the respondents from proceeding with the process of allocation, alienation and issuance of titles and any other activities until the correct application is heard,” ordered Justice Makori and set mention of the case on 4th July 2023.

Petitioners claim in affidavits filed in court that the respondents had fraudulently, irregularly and illegally resorted to issuing titles to strangers and to non-residents at the expense of the real beneficiaries.

“The respondents effected the transfer of land formerly known as parcels MN/111/324 and MN/111/334: Mtwapa Kilifi County to non-residents at the expense of 1,400 residents who are about to be rendered landless and homeless,” stated the affidavit.

They wanted the court to issue conservatory orders restraining the respondents from proceeding with the process of the allocation, alienation, and issuance of titles and any further activities on the land which they claim that the exercise was marred with irregularities where strangers are being issued with titles on the land belonging to petitioners.

The title deeds, they said were issued without a letter of offers shared to allottees on the ground and have accused the director of the survey for failing to furnish them with a survey plan clearly indicating the numbering of land parcels for purposes of generating individual title deeds as expected.

“Petitioners never received any letters of confirmation of allocation (allotment) or land parcel numbers to enable them to identify their distinct parcel numbers,” stated the affidavit.

A survey on the Maweni settlement scheme was started in 2017 and the Ministry of Lands and physical planning started the process of allocation of the land to residents through the Maweni Settlement initiative where a ground survey was done and each resident was to get a plot measuring 50 by 100 meters.

Residents have been holding peaceful demonstrations to protest the alleged illegal titling of the land.

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