Transparency International has launched a four-year programme to address cases of historical land injustices in Kwale county. The programme will focus on curbing corruption to ensure land injustices are resolved effectively through the legal process.
Corruption has been blamed for these land wrangles, which have left thousands of families homeless and depressed, endangering peaceful coexistence.
Transparency International coast regional coordinator Mary Maneno said the programme will help create awareness on land rights, when and how to report land issues, and proper channels to find justice.
Additionally, she said residents have been unable to find fair justice on land issues because some of the agencies supposed to assist them are involved in the land scandals. Maneno said there are reported cases of corruption that make it hard for poor residents to get justice.
The coastal region coordinator said they will bring on board stakeholders including the Ministry of Land, rights activists, civil society organizations, lawyers and security agencies to discuss possible solutions. Further, she stated that the problem has developed roots because of lack of cooperation and willingness in handling corruption and land disputes among stakeholders.
The programme will also focus on the effectiveness of laws that deal with land disputes, corruption and transparency. Apart from Kwale county, the programme is also being implemented in Nairobi and other countries of Uganda, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, and Madagascar.
Maneno said they will be discussing some of the challenges affecting ordinary citizens in accessing justice on matters of land and forwarding them to the national government for action with the aim to reduce cases of poor land governance and have an informed and corruption-free society.
However, she reiterated the government has made great strides in tackling corruption but more needs to be done. Last year, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission launched investigations into various public land parcels whose ownership is disputed. Government agencies and the private sector should work in unison in taming corruption in public offices and ensuring the best services for common citizens.