KENYA SET TO CANCEL DISPUTED TITLES FOR KISITE ISLAND
(Posted 12th June 2013)
The titles, allegedly fake anyway, for islands inside the Kisite Marine National Park, can now be cancelled by the Kenyan government following the expire of a formal notice period published last month by the land commission.
Claimed by Switzerland based ‘owners’ as theirs, the matter gained publicity and notoriety when the self professed owners tried to sell the plots for a staggering 1.5 billion Kenya Shillings, prompting caveats to be placed on the disputed marine park land, KWS staking their own rightful claim and a social media campaign going underway.
During the notice period, or so a regular source from Mombasa claims, only KWS showed formal interest in the land, with the so called owners reportedly staying away from staking their own claim, adding to speculation that indeed their title deeds were invalid as they were made out by colluding individuals in the lands office.
The lands commission is now in a position to formally cancel the disputed titles and the entire land, in any case located inside the marine national park, can then be vested in the Kenya Wildlife Service as the custodians of Kenya’s protected areas. The applicable law, under which this change will take place, is the National Land Commission Act, which entitles the government, after a due notice for a hearing had been given, to cancel title deeds of either free hold or lease hold nature and repossess the land in question or vest it in new owners.
The coast tourism fraternity considers the Kisite National Park as one of the key attractions for day excursions and was up in arms when it was learned that part of it was to be sold, started a sustained social media campaign against it and can now celebrate their success in saving Kisite for good. It could not be established by the time of uploading this article if the so called owners will be challenging the process in court, but with all legal requirement observed, such a case would stand little chance to succeed. Well done to all the conservation activists in Kenya involved in this case for their latest success story.