19 February 2019

Kenya: Swazuri - I Leave NLC a Happy Man, No Regrets

Nairobi — Outgoing National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri on Monday said he is a happy man after serving for six years.

Swazuri assumed office in February 2013 as the first chairman and his term comes to an end on Wednesday.

On Monday, while on his last official duty as the NLC Chairman at Tononoka Grounds Mombasa, Swazuri said one of his biggest achievements in office was to ensure majority of Lamu County families received title deeds.

He was accompanied by Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir in giving reports of land value for most plots within the Mombasa Island.

"When we (NLC) went to Lamu for the first time in 2014, apart from the Lake Kenyatta Settlement Scheme, only nine other people were holding title deeds in that region. However, as we are now speaking every village in Lamu has a title deed," said Swazuri.

He said NLC facilitated the issuance of over 12,000 title deeds to Lamu residents.

Swazuri, who is fighting accusations of being incompetent, corrupt and several court cases around the compensation of the land acquired for the Standard Gauge Railway, said the people fighting him are those who are bitter at his performance.

Last week, the National Assembly Committee on Lands delivered a harsh verdict over the performance of NLC, saying the commission failed to address 388 complaints on historical land injustices.

However, Swazuri responded by saying they have resolved over 200 cases of historical injustices and their performance was beyond expectations.

"We have resolved over 200 cases of historical land injustices. Unfortunately, there are those who launched a smear campaign against me. In fact, the biggest enemies are those who had stolen public land and we had to revert it back to the public," said Swazuri.

He said in the last six years they have been in office, NLC facilitated issuance of thousands of title deeds throughout the country.

"We have resolved so many land problems in the country. We have taken the perennial land problem head on, that even if I start enumerating what we have done here, we shall take three days," he said.

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