By Calvin Osiemo
Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto has claimed that President Uhuru Kenyatta gave a fake title deed for the construction of the Bomet University College during his tour on the county. The Governor accused the officers involved in preparing the document of engaging in fraudulent practices because the due procedure was not followed.
The National Lands Commission (NLC) chair Mohammed Swazuri has concurred with the embattled Bomet Governor’s statements on the issue. Swazuri has confirmed that the due procedure in acquiring the tile deed was not followed because his commission, mandated with the management of all public land, was not involved. The Bomet County government which ought to be involved has also indicated that it was not included in the process.
“I don’t know if the title he gave was done by the National Lands Commission (NLC) which under law is supposed to manage public land on behalf of the county governments. If indeed NLC endorsed the title, then that is abuse of office since we were not involved. The said transfer was done under illegal directives of officials from the Ministry of Lands in total violation of the Constitution and laws of Kenya,” Ruto said.
The Bomet County government has raised concerns over the issue to the NLC.
“The said title purportedly issued by the county government was done without the knowledge of and involvement of the county Government of Bomet,” read in part of letter from the County Government.
The acting Lands Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i dismissed the allegations by Governor Ruto saying they are misleading the public. He insisted that the due process had been followed in acquiring the document in line with section 107 (1) and (2) of the Lands Registration Act
According to Swazuri the following process was not followed; the proposed university’s management should have written to the NLC indicating that they have identified a piece of land and then the NLC would write to the County government of Bomet to confirm whether indeed that said land is available. If the County Government confirms that the land is there, the NLC will therefore inspect the land and the Bomet County Assembly has as well to approve the allocation for the NLC to go on with the registration of the land. The Director of Physical Planning has to approve the same and then the publication of a change user notice and preparation of Part Development Plan (PDP) before heading to the Chief Lands Registrar.
Acting Lands Ministry CS Matiang’i on Monday said that the ministry had prepared titles for Bomet Town parcel 307 and 308 for the construction of the proposed Bomet University College after a request was placed from the county leaders.
“It is clear the title is valid and that the law was followed. The claims attributed to the Bomet Governor are therefore inaccurate and misleading. They should be ignored,” said Matiang’i.
An official search at the Bomet County Lands office shows that the allocated land has two different title deeds.