More than 300 surviving members of Wareng/Nyakinyua dance troupe in Uasin Gishu County have appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene to enable them to get title deeds for a prime 80-acre parcel of land on the outskirts of Eldoret town.
They claimed that the property, estimated at Sh800 million, was given to them over 50 years ago by the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, has been grabbed by influential personalities due to a lack of ownership documents.
The members led by 70-year-old Pauline Mwangi, asked the President to move with speed and ensure they are issued with title deeds before he exits office after the August 9 general election to enable them sub-divide the land among individual members.
“We are appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and help us get title deeds for the land before he leaves office so that our children can have a secure future long after we are gone,” pleaded Mrs Mwangi.
The widow said they have been unable to access their property and added that they only have the mother title deed, after some people, key among them influential personalities, claim to own vast parts of it.
The new owners, she claims, took advantage of the 2007/2008 post-election violence to grab their property after they escaped to save their lives during the political skirmishes following the outcome of disputed Presidential election results.
Speaking at Timboroa trading centre where they reside as squatters, the members said they cannot bury their kin because of the land ownership feud.
Peter Mathu, also a member, said the majority of their members have died before benefiting from the share of the prime land.
“Our prayer to President Kenyatta is to help expedite the issuance of title deeds to the surviving members of Wareng/Nyakinyua from Uasin Gishu County before his term of office ends,” pleaded the frail Mathu, aged 76.
Mathu regretted that some of the people who claim ownership of their land have started building palatial homes on the disputed property and expressed fear that they might come and sell the same to unsuspecting buyers later.
Mwangi Kamau, 83, another surviving member, expressed frustration over the slow pace at which the government was taking to address their plight related to their property.
“We wonder why the government has not seen fit to include us in the programme aimed at issuing over one million title deeds that was launched by the Head of State early this year,” posed Mzee Kamau.
While launching the programme of issuing one million title deeds to residents of Nairobi in June, the President reiterated that the National Titling Programme was one of the major pillars of the Jubilee administration’s promises and that he desires to restore the dignity of most Kenyan families who have struggled to get title deeds for their land for years.
“Dignity comes with ownership. We pledged in February 2013 when we launched the Jubilee manifesto and for far too long, Kenyans have been talking about the land question but what we needed was the land answer,” he said.