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Kakamega county to repossess undeveloped plots

Kakamega town was gazetted as the Western provincial headquarters in 1920. It is now serving as the county headquarters.

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  • The county government gave notice of it’s intention to repossess all the 126 undeveloped plots in a paid up advertisement signed by county Land, Housing, Urban areas and physical planning Executive Robert Makhanu on Friday.

Owners of undeveloped plots within Kakamega municipality have until next Tuesday to explain why the parcels should not be repossessed by the county government.

The county government gave notice of it’s intention to repossess all the 126 undeveloped plots in a paid up advertisement signed by county Land, Housing, Urban areas and physical planning Executive Robert Makhanu on Friday.

“Affected allotees and lessees should visit the municipal manager’s offices between October 25 and 26 from 8.30am to 4.30pm to give reasons why their plots should not be repossessed,” the notice read.

They have been asked to present letters of allotment, evidence of payment of allotment fee, copies of lease documents from the National Land Commission, current search certificate, land rates payment receipts and clearance certificates and copies of the approved building plans.

The plots were allocated to politicians, companies, influential businessmen, churches, saccos and senior government officials.

More than half of the targeted plots for repossession do not have greencards.

The greencard is the most important document for verifying the ownership of a piece of land as it holds all the original records of all transactions relating to a land. It is what is used to produce the title deed.

The county government has listed 126 plots on its website whose owners have failed to develop since they were allocated, and which it intents to repossess.

The process of retaking undeveloped plots in the town begun in August 2020 when the county government advertised in the local dailies.

Some of the owners of the earmarked plots complained that the selection of the plots to be repossessed was biased as some vacant plots owned by relatives or cronies of senior county officials had been excluded from the list.

Some owners obtained court orders barring the county from interfering with their plots.

The county government in February this year, invited all owners of the plots earmarked for repossession and who had appealed the decision by the government, appear before the county land application, extension of leases and land administration committee for hearing of their appeals.

The decision by the county government to retake idle plots is meant to free land in the municipality for development as the town prepares to become a city.

On September 27, Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said Kakamega town was on the right path to becoming a city.

He said the journey towards the upgrade of the town to city status was taking shape and called for the support of all stakeholders to enable him achieve this dream.

Oparanya said a special committee has been set up to ensure all requirements are met to elevate the town to a city.

“Apart from improving the road network, installation of security lights and beefing up security, the county has embarked on a massive beautification programme of the town,” he said.

Last December, Oparanya inaugurated the Kakamega Municipality Board tasked with the management of municipal affairs on a semi-autonomous basis and the Kakamega town municipal charter.

The charter took into account the expanded boundaries that encompass satellite townships of Khayega towards Kisumu, Lubao towards Webuye, Eshisiru towards Mumias and Shinyalu.

The Urban and Cities Act requires that a municipality has a population of at least 250,000, alongside other social amenities, to qualify for city status.

Kakamega town was gazetted as the Western provincial headquarters in 1920. It is now serving as the county headquarters.

The county administration demolished kiosks within the municipality three years ago in what it said was part of the beatification programme towards city status.

Traders whose kiosks were demolished in 2018 will now be accommodated in the Sichirai market, which is under construction in Lurambi subcounty.

The county government had in July last year issued a directive to owners of plots in Jua Kali area in the town, to carry out structural audits of their buildings by a qualified structural engineer to establish suitability.

The county asked all the tenants to vacate their premises until the buildings are inspected and approved by the county government as safe for occupation.

The county said the buildings were constructed without requisite approval and occupied without obtaining occupation certificates, hence exposing tenants to danger since the structural stability of the buildings is unknown.

Via
Hilton Otenyo
Source
The Star

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