[SIZE=6]Chance to holistically resolve land issues[/SIZE]
The upcoming law reforms and Building Bridges Initiative give the best opportunity yet to Kenyans, especially the coastal peoples, to have a say in the resolution of historical land injustices.
The genesis of the land question at the coast, a reason for disgruntlement over the years, can be traced to the arrival of the Arabs and the Slave Trade in the ninth century.
This engendered unjust occupation of coastal land, whereby the indigenous peoples retreated to the hinterland to escape the dreaded illicit trade.
The British colonialists and successive post-Independence regimes continued the injustice.
The Land Titles Ordinance Act of 1908 pegged registration of land on ‘proof’ of ownership. It gave residents six months to lay claim over land with the recorder of titles in Mombasa.
But most of the indigenous people were hiding in the Nyika Plateau; only the Arabs got title deeds.
The locals returned after the abolition of slavery only to find their land given away to foreigners. This anomaly was never corrected at Independence; hence the
prevalence of absentee landlords.
Some post-Independence political elites accessed large tracts of arable land with the locals confined to the ecologically marginal dry, poorly accessible pest- and disease vector-prone hinterland, the “nyikaland”.
The latter became squatters either by returning to their then-Arab-registered lands or surrounded by large ranches.
The pre-colonial Land Titles Ordinance Act of 1908 (the Land Titles Act in independent Kenya) and Mazrui Trust Land Act Cap 289 of 1912 are to blame for the squatter problem at the Coast, aggravated by a clause in the first post-Independence Constitution that made all title deeds given in the region lawful and valid.
In 1989, the government repealed the Mazrui Land Act for the settlement of squatters. But in 1991, the Mazrui heirs challenged the decision.
After a 23-year court battle, judgment was entered in favour of the Mazrui family. Now, over 10,000 families living on the land face eviction.
The progressive 2010 Constitution, indeed, addresses the matter in Article 67 by requiring the National Land Commission (NLC) to investigate and adjudicate claims of historical land injustices.
Section 15 of the National Land Commission Act requires the commission to put in place appropriate legislation to effectively discharge this mandate. LAND BOARDS
Despite going through public participation, however, the process was watered down after the draft legislation was included in the Land Laws (Amendment) Bill 2015.
To resolve all the historical land injustices, the NLC should be abolished and regional land boards established with each county government having its own.
These boards would have the powers and functions like those of the NLC, particularly to investigate title deeds and historical land injustices.
Finally, all land registered under the two unjust colonial laws should be declared public land and given back to the locals, the genuine owners. Mr Kingi is the governor of Kilifi County and chair of Devolution at the Council of Governors.
[COLOR=rgb(184, 49, 47)] www.nation.co.ke/oped/opinion/Chance-to-holistically-resolve-land-issues/440808-4888260-view-asAMP-8vl0j7z/index.html
When will Runda, Kirûngîî (Westlands),Loresho, Mûthangari, Gitathúro, Parklans, Pangani, revert back to my people??
Or you thought these were vaccum lands?
This is also the land of Mbarî ya Thairû na hatuleti nyef nyef mingi.
What do niggas want?
Coast land issue is hot very hot especially since it goes back to the colonial era with treaties signed by the British monarchy and the sultan. The haphazard way in which it was treated at Lancaster house make it a convoluted issues with legal discombobulations in the legal documents.
No me am not…
But if you are Dorobo then you can rightly claim kiambu…
The point is we should all follow ntimamas advice and lie low like an antelope…our forefathers moved here and found others already living here…kenya ni yetu sote…hata hawa wapwani waache kimbelembele.
This coastal land issue is a lot of nonsense.
The squatters outside the 16 mile strip have a legitimate claim to that land. That land is not owned by Arabs but by politicians of the Kenyatta era and people from Upcountry like in places like Shimba Hills, the Magarini area and the interior of Msambweni
Inside the 16 mile strip however, the Mijikenda have no claim to the land there.The sultan claimed the 16 mile strip because even up to the colonial ear, there were no Africans in it!The Mijikenda lived in Kayas just outside it(and the Sultan sent a delegation to some in the late 1800s, if Africans lived in the 16 mile strip, he would have not needed to do that).
On the issue of slavery, only one group was enslaved by the Arabs and they gained their freedom by converting to Islam;the Digo.Mst coastal slaves were from Mozambique.Like the Freetown ones.The Giriama and other 8 subtirbes did not experience slavery(Though I believe that in Malindi, there were some Giriama slaves but they were few in comparison to the imported ones).
The Mijikenda were not raided for slaves as at the time the Arabs tried, the coastal region was invaded by the Orma, then by the Maasai in the very areas the Mijikenda lived.So the Arabs looked to the seas for everything until the decline of the Maasai when they started trading in inland Kenya.
(Tanzania did not have the Orma and Maasai factors so they used to raid deep into the interior)
So No. Most of the Coastal strip was largely empty with a few scattered Arab-Swahili villages in places like Msambweni, Malindi and the Tana Delta.Even today, the low population density for a region with relatively good rainfall was due to the Arabs and Swahilis claiming the 16 mile strip as they arrived first(Which no one can dispute. Lamu is the oldest town in Eastern Africa.It was there when Bantus were still in the Congo. Mombasa started as a settlement in A.D. 70 but became a recognizable town at around 1200 A.D. so technically speaking the Mijikenda found them there.This is actually confirmed by the Mijikenda in their traditional stories)
However, there is nothing stopping the Government from buying the land ,especially from the Absentee landlords in places like Kilifi then selling it to land companies the way Kikuyus got land in the Rift Valley in the 60s and 70s. After all, most Arabs and Swahilis no longer farm.(There are exceptions in Msambweni and Lamu) and are urbanized. If the Mijikenda organize themselves the way the Kikuyus did, they can buy the land.
Asking it for free will not work in any manner. The Arabs and Swahilis are willing to sell. (In Mtwapa, we got even sh 10,000 plots) the problem is people wanting free things.
The other problem is that politicians, both coastal and the ones in power will hijack the process and grab chunks of land for themselves for free from the Government once it buys the land from the Absentee landlords.(They are selling, but they sell in bulk, minimum a 1000 acres.In Mtwapa, the person who bought then subdivided the land and spread the word by word of mouth .Because they sell in bulk, the land ends up being very cheap. There are Kikuyus who bought land in Kikambala and next to that land are Chonyi squatters)
So the problem here is not the Arabs and Swahilis who do have a claim to the land AND are willing to sell, but people wanting free things, a lack of organization by the Mijikenda and the Government.
all your history is westernized & with massive UN-explained gaps in between, so if the mijikenda were not present when these coastal towns came up, where did the Swahili language come from, coz kenyan swahili is largely a mix of mijikenda languages combined with Arab, Persian & Portuguese influences, are u suggesting that the Portuguese in 1498 did not find any mijikenda on the coast, that the mijikenda migrated into kenya less than 500 years ago, and by the way the sultan’s so called strip was 10 miles not 16, and the sultans influence varied in each town since the coastline is’nt a straight line,how can you say that the mijikenda were not raided for slaves, so you mean that before the british came the Arabs imported slaves from elsewhere,seriously, arabs, persians & portugeese all found the mijikenda already on the kenyan coastline, if mombasa is more than a millennia old, the the mijikenda have obviously been around for longer…also a point of correction the galla were the main raiders of mijikenda from the north not the orma, and they persisted into the late 1800’s.
so your effectively saying the Arabs / Swahili bought the land from somebody, please elaborate from whom did they purchase these lands from that they now have to be paid for appropriating land that was never theirs to begin with, the Kikuyu in central were pushed out of their lands by the British colonial govt. to bring in settler,s from the UK into land that was grabbed from the rift people and designated reserve land, at Independence all these lands were supposed to be redistributed to each community,but bcoz our independence govt. was made up the greediest lot of politicians this country has ever sired they sold these lands to themselves,why cant the govt. just deal with these issues holistically the Arab & Swahili fraudulently acquired these lands only because the Land Title Ordnance’s was extremely flawed in that Arab and Swahili men were allowed to claim ownership because the mijikenda were always suspicious of all foreigners, especially after the 1914 uprising [which has affected the coast in both good & bad ways 2date] & had no formal education which allowed Arabs/Swahili’s to take advantage and claim large tracts of land unbeknownst to the local population, they never bought any land and since plantation agriculture failed in the coast due to lack of manpower since the local people didn’t want to work for the Arabs or any other foreigners for that matter at the time, i realy need you to explain how you deduced that the arabs [who came from the middle east] & swahili [descendants of the Mijikenda] came to be legitimate owners of land they never bought, inherited or even won at a poker game.???
Which part of
THEY WERE THERE FIRST.
Did you not get???
Arab migration to the East African Coast started around 300 B.C. Even before the Islamic era.
Lamu is an example of a pre Islamic Arab town(Not just Arabs but Persians too).
Mombasa was first settled around 70 A.D. but started growing from around 900 A.D.
Bantus as a whole arrived around 900-1000 A.D. and the Mijikenda settled at the coast at around 1000 A.D.
In short, THEY FOUND THE ARABS THERE!!
Until the Orma and Maasai invasions,Arabs and Swahilis lived as far as today’s Witu and places like Buji Albati at the edge of the Strip.
Even the Magarini area close to Malindi has only been settled by Giriama recently.
Swahilis used to farm that area in the Portuguese era.
Mijikenda were all concentrated in and around their Kayas just outside Mombasa but NOT in the 16 mile strip.
Remember Mijikenda were a tiny community then. Even at Independence there were actually more Asians in Kenya(160,000) than Mijikenda at the time,leave alone the Sultan era.
When Mijikenda expanded to present day Magarini,they expanded in the area between Arabuko Sokoke and the Taru desert.The Coast was Exclusively Swahili and Arab.
Takaungu,Gedi,Shimoni ,Gazi were all Swahili villages.There were no Mijikenda in the 16 mile strip.
Colonialism saw Mijikenda expand into the strip as Asians were given land in Kwale to grow Okra and Sugarcane.This saw Digos settle in Ukunda,Ramisi(which was settled by no one.It was a forest)and Tiwi.
In Kilifi,British settlers wanted labor for their sisal plantations.They transferred a large number of Chony i from Chonyi Hills(Which is OUTSIDE the strip) to present day Bahari,Kikambala and Mtwapa where they form the majority of squatters.
In Magarini,the Swahilis who had slave labor freed simply dumped their slaves on idle land but continued to own it as they moved to Mombasa and Malindi.The descendants of those slaves transferred from the Giriama Kaya far inland in Kaloleni to Magarini are the squatters of Malindi.
Mombasa squatters are all immigrants.Even the Mijikenda ones
Even local tradition will tell you Mombasa was settled by the Arabs,then Swahili by Shehe Mvita and his 12 tribes and the Mijikenda actually arrived as labour for the Port and to build the roads of Mombasa.
That is why you do not hear any story of Mijikenda rebelling against the Portuguese.
They were never ruled by them.
If they lived in the 16 mile strip.They would complain about how their towns were burnt multiple times the way Mombasa was over a period of 200 years. Or how the Portuguese went on a beheading spree of Arabs and Swahilis in rural Msambweni all the way to Pemba and Zanzibar in retaliation for the killing of Portuguese in settlements in Zanzibar and Pate.
There are no such stories amongst the Mijikenda but the Swahilis will tell you how the 16 mile strip was invaded by the Zimba tribe which was cannibalistic and ate them.The Mijikenda inland were not affected.They went as far as Somalia.
Lamu did not have any squatter problem.It still has no squatter problem.Because the Arabs and Swahilis plus the Bajun had family farms.Not plantations like the Swahili of Malindi or later the Asians of Kwale.So they never needed any labor.That is why there are very few Mijikenda there both inland or at the Coastal strip
What Lamu has are immigrants brought there by Kenyatta transfering Kikuyus there against the local Arab,Swahili and Bajun’s wills.
The 16 mile strip has never been Mijikendaland.
There is no Mijikenda who claims it as ancestral land as their own traditions recognize it as the land of the Swahili.
But they can buy the land as the Swahilis are selling.
Ur logic is very flawed, the Swahili language is under the sabaki group of languages in zone descended directly from the coastal Bantu along the entire east African coast, what ur saying is the same as saying the Columbus didn’t find anyone on the shores of the new world, ati Arabs came & didn’t find anyone their hauko serious, the current book history of the mijikenda isn’t consistent in terms of dates because Swahili language dialects descended from indigenous coastal Bantu lingua with loan words from Arabic & Portuguese mostly for lexical terms AFTER they came to the coast,before foreigners came, the language was known as “Kingozi”,therefore if Kingozi now Kiswahili is widely accepted as a bantu language & NOT a mixed language which Bantu groups would we be talking about other than the coastal bantu off the east African coast?? it cant be that Arabs “DISCOVERED” the kenyan coast while the Indigenous already lived off the ocean,the Migration history of The Mijikenda, the pokomo and other coastal bantu’s as it is recorded is very chronologically flawed,no one can prove the approximate dates of the Shungwaya journey, the oral traditions cant be used as proof because they cant be dated, it just doesn’t add up.