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Economy

Team asked to review leasing of rail land at the Coast

Mombasa County Lands registrar John Wanjohi Gichuki (left) with Ibrahim Mwathane (right) who is the chairman of the taskforce probing renewal and extension of land leases. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG
Mombasa County Lands registrar John Wanjohi Gichuki (left) with Ibrahim Mwathane (right) who is the chairman of the taskforce probing renewal and extension of land leases. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG 

A taskforce charged with reviewing the extension and renewal of land leases has been asked to look into the process involved in leasing of railway land in Mombasa.

County Commissioner Evans Achoki says the Ibrahim Mwathane-led taskforce should elaborate the procedures involved in leasing government land and property.

“This is especially the railway land. Once a lease has expired at what level should we be consulted? All Mombasa residents who have an interest in land should come forward and give their views on how they want land leases handled,” he said Tuesday.

The team, which was constituted by Lands Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi to review leases renewed or extended between 2010 to 2016, started public hearings in Mombasa on Monday.

The three-day public hearing at the Uhuru na Kazi Building will cater for Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu and Taita Taveta counties to help asses land issues at the Coast.

The hearings will end tomorrow.

Mr Mwathane said the government is required to inform a leaseholder five years before its expiry, adding that the State should have the status of all leases in the country and relook those extended in the last six years.

“We have specific requirements under the law for renewal and extension of leases. What happened since 2010 is our concern,” he added.

Mr Mwathane said the team will make recommendations that will inform government on what action to take over leases renewed or extended since the promulgation of the new constitution.

Land at the coast is a thorny issue and has sparked tension between parcel owners and squatters.

“Land is an emotive issue and it has a bearing on security,” said Mr Achoki.

After it gives its recommendations, disciplinary action is expected to be taken against those found to have engaged in irregularities.

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