24 April 2014

Kenya: Lamu to Tax Owners of Large Lands

THE Lamu government plans to tax owners of land tracks of land, Governor Issa Timamy has said. He said the county government there is a need to effectively use resources from the parcels of land to deliver services to residents.

Timamy was adressing the press in his office yesterday. He said the county government will identify all land owners. Timamy said the executive with work with the county assembly to pass by-laws that will allow maximasation of land as a resource.

"Lamu residents still face a lot of challenges despite being blessed with a resource as beneficial as land. We shall ensure those with large parcels pay taxes. We need more funds to develop our county," he said.

He noted that land issues were technical but promised to ensure every residents gets what belongs to them. "As a government, we are on the forefront to fight for the rights of our people. We shall not allow any residents to face any kind of injustices as far as land is concerned," he said.

Touching on the issue of land auditing, Timamy said plans were underway and that together with the county assembly, they shall ensure the auditing happens as soon as possible. At the same time, residents with a habit of inhabiting forest land have been asked to stop.

In recent days there have been complains from residents especially those from Kipini and Amu ranch who said Kenya Forest Service(KFS) officers had chased them out of their homes and even torched down their houses.

Timamy was however quick to caution that putting up residence on public or forest land is a contravention of the law and shall not be tolerated. "Those of you who go and put up houses public land should stop. That is far from the dictates of the law. No one should go into such lands. If you are found then don't expect my help," said Timamy.

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