The long-standing feud over the ownership of the Chepyuk settlement scheme in Mt Elgon Constituency, Bungoma County, will be a thing of the past after President Uhuru Kenyatta launched phase one of the issuance of title deeds to squatters in the area.
Uhuru said the government was committed to ensuring problems associated with land ownership across the country were solved once and for all.
Addressing wananchi at Kopsiro grounds when he launched the issuance of more than 2,000 title deeds for squatters in the area on Thursday, Uhuru said issuance of title deeds remains key in solving problems of land conflicts.
“My government will continue to focus its energies on issuance of land title deeds as the only solution to land conflicts,” said Uhuru.
“When you gave me your blessings in 2013, I promised that I would solve the problem of land in this place if given the opportunity. Kenyans including you gave me the opportunity and this is why I am here today to implement what I promised you,” added the President.
The President who was accompanied by Deputy President William Ruto said the title deeds would give the residents a sense of ownership of the land and enable them borrow loans and engage in projects that can uplift their lives.
The Head of State, at the same time, castigated leaders who were politicising the government’s efforts to ensuring that all Kenyans get access to electricity through the ‘Last Mile Programme’.
He said the industrialization needs of the country could not be achieved if all parts of the country were not connected to electricity.
“We cannot eradicate unemployment and reduce poverty if Kenyans do not have access to important services like electricity, water and roads among others,” said President Kenyatta.
“As a nation, we can confidently say that the foundation to move Kenya into a middle-income country by 2030 has been firmly laid. The journey towards the transformation of our country is on course,” he said.
He assured Kenyans that the government is establishing workable solutions to problems facing Kenyans wondering why the Opposition was criticizing its development projects without giving alternative solutions to problems facing the country.
“Some people have electricity in their homes and we wonder why they are opposed to other Kenyans getting electricity in their homes as well,” said the President.
President Kenyatta cautioned residents against being misled by proponents of divisive politics ahead of the next General Election
“Do not be misled by people who are advancing their selfish interests at the expense of national good,” he said.
President Kenyatta said the aim of the Jubilee Party was to unite Kenyans for the sake of peace and development.
The President asked leaders to be sincere in promoting the agenda of the Jubilee Party and avoid the culture doublespeak.
The President assured Kenyans of free and fair Jubilee nominations come the next election.
He said voters would be given the opportunity to elect leaders of their choice, as it was their democratic right without any interference.
“It is voters who are going to decide on leaders of their choice without interference from any quarters,” said Uhuru.
The Deputy President said the government was committed to solving problems facing residents in the area including the Chepyuk land issue that had dragged for long.
Mr Ruto said some leaders have been using the land issue in the area to advance their selfish interests without giving solution to the problem.
“You have seen that Jubilee has the interest of the people of Kenya including Mt Elgon at heart. This is why we are here today to begin the journey of solving the problem of land that has affected people here for a long time,” said Ruto.
The Deputy President said the Opposition leaders had no agenda for Kenyans and urged Mt Elgon residents to ignore them.
“Our competitors are looking for ways of sharing positions but Jubilee is focused on taking Kenya on the path of creating opportunities for millions of its people to uplift their lives,” said Ruto.
Residents who talked to the press hailed the move by the government to provide title deeds to squatters in Chepyuk Settlement Scheme.
“If there is a Christmas gift that the government has given to the people of Mt Elgon, then it is these title deeds. We are grateful,” said John Ndiema, one of the title deeds beneficiaries.
He said most of the conflicts being witnessed in Mt Elgon were due to land ownership.
Present were Cabinet Secretaries Eugene Wamalwa (Water and Irrigation) and James Macharia (Transport and Infrastructure).
Others were MPs John Serut (Mt Elgon), Ben Washiali (Mumias East), John Waluke (Sirisia), Henry ole Ndiema (Trans Nzoia), Reginalda Wanyonyi (Bungoma) and Governor Kenneth Lusaka (Bungoma).
Uhuru also launched the construction work on the Kapsokwony-Kapsiro-Namwela and the Chepkube-Cheptais junction roads.