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Save Us From Land Cartels Within The Thika Lands Registry, Peasants Cry To Swazuri.

John Ndung’u Muthee narrating his predicaments at the Thika Lands Registry since 1996, a matter that has seen him lose his land in very mysterious circumstances.
A section of former larger Thika District are up in arms over rampant cases of corruption in the Thika Lands Registry office when they are seeking services that has seen some of them lose their land to grabbers.

These land grabbers, working in cahoots with corrupt land officials, are said to be targeting old people and those who do not have the financial muscle to fight for their rights in this racket where anyone who goes to seek services from the office get their title deeds faked and forcibly evicted from their land.

Those most affected by this cartel are small plot owners whose area of residence were hived off from the former Thika District as they are tossed right left and centre to get their land documents.

85-year old John Ndung’u Muthee who bought a piece of land in Juja Farm has been frequenting the Thika registry for his green card since the year 1996. Recently, he came to realise that his plot of land has already been grabbed by another person who now has a title deed for the same.

“I was shocked to see someone occupy my plot and he is now putting up a building on my land. He has a title deed for it. How he got it, I don’t know. How does the original owner of a piece of land miss a title deed but another person is awarded with a title deed for the same even before involving the owner?” posed Ndung’u.

He adds that his efforts to follow up the case with the Thika registry have been fruitless, all he has been getting are empty promises. His predicaments have been complicated by the numerous ‘brokers’ who operate in cahoots with the officers in the registry to subdue people’s rights.

“These brokers are demanding sh. 30,000 to get my green card. The one occupying my land is demanding sh. 3million to forfeit it. At my age, where do I get that kind of money?” he asked.

A similar complaint was received from George Mburu, who resides in Gachororo within Juja Sub County. Mburu says that he has been pursuing the ‘green card’ for his late father’s plot of land in Ngoingwa Estate Thika for the last two years but in vain. He says that the results of their ‘search’ is no longer visible something that has worried them as they know not if at all their piece of land exists.

“Whenever I go there they (Thika lands officials) tell me that the green card is lost. That they cannot trace it anywhere in their registry. They say that it may have gotten lost when Thika was hived off from Kiambu,” said Mburu.

In a rejoinder, Juja MP Francis Munyua Waititu said that his office has been receiving a lot of land complaints from the Thika office.

“Between 60 and 70% of Kiambu land owners do not have title deeds due to the cartel of land grabbers. Every day someone is losing their land to land grabbers who are colluding with land officials, the police and officials in the judiciary to defraud the poor of their land,” said Waititu.

The MP reckons that the title deeds are faked when people visit the lands registry.

“Every time one presents a title deed for search in the lands offices, the officers there photocopy these documents and give them to these land thieves. They grabbers produce a replica of these titles from River Road which they use to either sell to unsuspecting land buyers or develop the land as their own. When a dispute arises, the winner is always the one with the money,” said the Juja legislator.

He added that he was shocked to note that the cartel was now involving sitting legislators and other people who were now seeking elective offices within the county. He blamed the Thika lands registrar for not forwarding title deeds meant for Juja Sub-County so that arrangement to reach their rightful owners could be done.

“These land grabbers control the lands office and are above the law. They have studied the judicial system well and use it to his advantage. They will invade your land, manufacture a dispute and before you know it, a court gives a status quo order, meaning that they continue to occupy your land,” he retorted.

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