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GIRIAMA PARISH LAND CASE-KALOLENI (1276 R).

St. Michael’s Catholic Church was established in 1904 by the Holy Ghost Missionary Fathers. It was allocated 1,000 acres of land following the first survey of 1909, under a 99 years lease. On 18th May 1959, the parcel of land was granted a certificate of registration as a corporate body under the name of “Catholic Mission Diocese of Mombasa and Zanzibar”. The would be changed to “Catholic Diocese of Mombasa” on 23rd March 1965 by the order of Hon.Jackson Harvester Angaine,the then minister for Lands and settlement. A title deed Registration No.1276 R was then issued.

The Church then allowed community members to settle herein after signing a document that bound them by its rules and regulations. As more communities continued to flock in however, signing these documents no longer became a requirement.

The approach.

Majority of the communities are Catholics but there are a few other Christians and Muslims. For years they have demanded from the church that the land be surveyed so that each resident would get a title deed. A small group of staunch Catholic however is opposed to this allocation saying that it is much safer when the land remain registered under the Church. But the pressure to adjudicate the land has been building up forcing the Church to form a separate committee that would bring communities of different denominations on 3rd Mach, 2017.The mandate of the committee include the re-establishing the boundaries, registration of the communities staying on the land and dispute resolution. The process of identifying the boundaries and registration has already started. The church is not opposed to the adjudication but the residents are running out of patience since even though many priests in the past started the process, it is always left midway with the church bureaucracy accused of resistance.

Recommendations.

  • The committee, chaired by Ambrose Gandi, should be linked to the land administration team with the Catholic Diocese Archdiocese of Mombasa for further engagement.
  • Haki Yetu Organisation can play the role of neutral arbiter in this case. The communities and the church have so far embraced the Organisation for the process of identifying the beneficiaries.

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