June 24, 2024
"You must be a Kenyan to own ..." - CS Alice Wahome Issues Stern Warning to Foreigners With Freehold Titles

“You must be a Kenyan to own …” – CS Alice Wahome Issues Stern Warning to Foreigners With Freehold Titles

Lands Cabinet Secretary Alice Wahome raised the alarm on Sunday about non-citizens holding freehold titles and then ordered an audit of all land records in the Coastal Region.

Speaking at the Coast during an inspection visit to Mombasa County’s land registration, the CS reaffirmed that throughout the audit, all fraudulent land papers will be purged from the records, and those responsible will face the full weight of the law.

CS Wahome also issued a warning to all land registrars who had been aiding foreigners in the region to obtain ownership paperwork, noting that only Kenyans were allowed to be in possession of freehold titles.

Unlike leases, which expire after 99 years, freehold titles allow the bearer absolute possession of a piece of property for life. Foreigners cannot obtain the titles.

“The banks are also falling prey to forged documents. I asked the banks to get their land valuers and lawyers to do due diligence in the interrogation of land titles,” she remarked.

She stated that if foreigners wanted to occupy land, they should apply for a lease.

Wahome argued that when foreigners obtain freehold titles, they violate Article 65 of the Constitution, which exclusively allows foreigners to lease land.

“I must remind all the Land Registrars and Land Officers wherever they are that freehold titles under the constitution article 65 cannot be transferred or owned by foreigners. I am not specifying any group, but you must be a Kenyan to own a freehold title,” she stated.

“If we found anyone sleeping on the job, I don’t think we are going to be nice to them, I am also not allowed to sleep on my job,” she reiterated.

Furthermore, CS Wahome indicated that the Ministry is aiming to digitize all activities and applications in order to eliminate cartels that abuse manual procedures.

“We are in the process of digitising our records.  The digitisation process will make things more efficient, this has been completed in Nairobi and Murang’a counties,” she stated.

The CS noted that the Ministry was waiting for funds from the National Treasury to properly roll out the digitalization programme in additional counties along the coast.

Wahome also disclosed that the Ministry of Lands was on a quest to reclaim land parcels along the coast that had been uninhabited for more than 12 years.

“You must be a Kenyan to own …” – CS Alice Wahome Issues Stern Warning to Foreigners With Freehold Titles

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