Kenya told to fast-track issuance of title deeds to promote economic growth


NAIROBI: Land economists and private sector players want institutions dealing with land to expedite issuance of title deeds and formulate regulations to promote investments and economic growth in the country.

Land sector actors opine that there is need for the National Land Commission ( NLC) and Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development to assist in restoring sanity with a view to activating business.

Land Development and Governance Institute (LDGI) Chairman Ibrahim Mwathane asserts that inordinate delays in the issuance of titles has contributed to enormous loss of business opportunities to citizens, national, county economies and private sector players.

According to Kenya Land Alliance CEO Odenda Lumumba mega investment projects, for instance, coal, oil, and gas mining, the Lamu – South Sudan – Ethiopia Transport (LAPPSET) corridor, Konza city and the standard gauge railway need to be guided by investment regulations, which the commission ought to facilitate. For more than one year, the land sector has been characterised by supremacy battles between the NLC and Ministry of Lands leading to delays in issuance of land title deeds and to a large extent suspension in execution of mega projects. The National Land Commission has been demanding the right to issue new title deeds, while the ministry has insisted that it has the sole mandate to issue them. This quarrel prompted banks to demand more security from borrowers with new titles.

Mwathane said the differences between the two bodies have been fuelled by the lack of clarity on separation of roles and functions, thus denying them an opportunity to effectively manage land.


He said in a recent interview in Nairobi that land owners of large companies and co-operative farms, group ranches under subdivision, urban re-settlement schemes, informal settlements and adjudication schemes have for more than one year, not executed their projects owing to the incessant disputes between the two State organs. Some of the associated adjudication schemes, he added, had been pending since pre-independence.

“This year we expect the two institutions to advance issuance of titles to facilitate business activities in the property industry. Communities keen on converting their community land to private ownership should also be facilitated once a Community Land Act is in place,” said Mr Mwathane.