Land adjudication and processing of title deeds in Tigania East, Tigania West and Igembe has been a bone of contention over the past 15 years, with several attempts resulting in bloody confrontations over ownership.
However, the government is currently undertaking the exercise at a cost of Sh60 million that will see issuance of over 100,000 titles.
Residents have hailed the exercise that will see them receive title deeds for their land free of charge, saying it will be an appropriate Christmas and New Year gift for them.
The enthusiasm has been driven by the prospect of residents being compensated for their land as the government seeks to acquire 18,700 acres for construction of a 400MW wind power project at a cost of Sh7 billion. Land owners are set to reap benefits of compensation, as is the case with other multi-billion projects such as the SGR.
There are also speculators who have moved in to exploit the opportunity resulting to land prices doubling from Sh500,000 an acre to Sh1.2 million over the past two years.
“We have never seen a title deed and this is a good opportunity for us to feel that we own part of Meru. I cannot wait to lay my hands on the title deed,” said James Kanampiu, a resident of Tigania East.
To ensure that the exercise is carried out without a hitch, the government is spending Sh60 million in adjudication of land and processing of 100,000 title deeds in Meru county as it seeks to fast track construction of the multi-billion wind power project.
Lands officials were directed to fast-track adjudication and issuance of titles on an 18,700 piece of land to pave way for the wind power project.
The number of surveyors working in the sub county would be doubled to speed up the exercise and titles processed by February, Lands Principal Secretary Nicholas Muraguri said, adding that President Uhuru Kenyatta would issue the documents.
Most of the surveyors will be stationed at Ngaremara, Kandebene, and Gambella areas on the parcel of land earmarked for the 400-megawatt wind power project.
Meru County Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development executive Jeremiah Lenya said there were 24 adjudicators working in the area but the number would be increased to 48.
The project, which will be implemented by the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen), has been delayed following persistent disputes over land adjudication which threatened to scuttle the Sh7 billion investment. Ministry officials, alongside those of the National Land Commission (NLC), are expected to start land valuation after the titles are issued in readiness for compensation.
At Kandebene, Dr Muraguri was informed that there were 250 disputes that were being handled by lands officials in collaboration with local administrators and elders.
He urged residents to settle disputes in time so that they don’t lose out.
“Long standing disputes have prevented adjudication of land and our appeal is that you resolve them amicably so that we don’t miss out on this investment.
“If you cannot agree among yourselves and allow titles to be processed, investors will shift to other areas and you will have yourselves to blame,” Dr Muraguri told residents.
In 2014, KenGen signed a memorandum of understanding with the Meru County government to acquire land for the project.
The power generator received Sh7 billion from France in 2016 for construction of 80-megawatt wind farm, phase one of the 400MW project.
The project has been hit by controversy, with residents demanding to be allocated land first so that they can be compensated.
World Bank pushes G-20 to extend debt relief to 2021
World Bank Group President David Malpass has urged the Group of 20 rich countries to extend the time frame of the Debt Service Suspension Initiative(DSSI) through the end of 2021, calling it one of the key factors in strengthening global recovery.
“I urge you to extend the time frame of the DSSI through the end of 2021 and commit to giving the initiative as broad a scope as possible,” said Malpass.
He made these remarks at last week’s virtual G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting.
The World Bank Chief said the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered the deepest global recession in decades and what may turn out to be one of the most unequal in terms of impact.
People in developing countries are particularly hard hit by capital outflows, declines in remittances, the collapse of informal labor markets, and social safety nets that are much less robust than in the advanced economies.
For the poorest countries, poverty is rising rapidly, median incomes are falling and growth is deeply negative.
Debt burdens, already unsustainable for many countries, are rising to crisis levels.
“The situation in developing countries is increasingly desperate. Time is short. We need to take action quickly on debt suspension, debt reduction, debt resolution mechanisms and debt transparency,” said Malpass.
Kenya’s Central Bank Drafts New Laws to Regulate Non-Bank Digital Loans
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) will regulate interest rates charged on mobile loans by digital lending platforms if amendments on the Central bank of Kenya Act pass to law. The amendments will require digital lenders to seek approval from CBK before launching new products or changing interest rates on loans among other charges, just like commercial banks.
“The principal objective of this bill is to amend the Central bank of Kenya Act to regulate the conduct of providers of digital financial products and services,” reads a notice on the bill. “CBK will have an obligation of ensuring that there is fair and non-discriminatory marketplace access to credit.”
According to Business Daily, the legislation will also enable the Central Bank to monitor non-performing loans, capping the limit at not twice the amount of the defaulted loan while protecting consumers from predatory lending by digital loan platforms.
Tighter Reins on Platforms for Mobile Loans
The legislation will boost efforts to protect customers, building upon a previous gazette notice that blocked lenders from blacklisting non-performing loans below Ksh 1000. The CBK also withdrew submissions of unregulated mobile loan platforms into Credit Reference Bureau. The withdrawal came after complaints of misuse over data in the Credit Information Sharing (CIS) System available for lenders.
Last year, Kenya had over 49 platforms providing mobile loans, taking advantage of regulation gaps to charge obscene rates as high as 150% a year. While most platforms allow borrowers to prepay within a month, creditors still pay the full amount plus interest.
Amendments in the CBK Act will help shield consumers from high-interest rates as well as offer transparency on terms of digital loans.
Scope Markets Kenya customers to have instant access to global financial markets
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Clients trading through the Scope Markets Kenya trading platform will get instant access to global financial markets and wider investment options.
This follows the launch of a new Scope Markets app, available on both the Google PlayStore and IOS Apple Store.
The Scope Markets app offers clients over 500 investment opportunities across global financial markets.
The Scope Markets app has a brand new user interface that is very user friendly, following feedback from customers.
The application offers real-time quotes; newsfeeds; research facilities, and a chat feature which enables a customer to make direct contact with the Customer Service Team during trading days (Monday to Friday).
The platform also offers an enhanced client interface including catering for those who trade at night.
The client will get instant access to several asset classes in the global financial markets including; Single Stocks CFDs (US, UK, EU) such as Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google, BP, Carrefour; Indices (Nasdaq, FTSE UK), Metals (Gold, Silver); Currencies (60+ Pairs), Commodities (Oil, Natural Gas).
The launch is part of Scope Markets Kenya strategy of enriching the customer experience while offering clients access to global trading opportunities.
Scope Markets Kenya CEO, Kevin Ng’ang’a observed, “the Sope Markets app is very easy to use especially when executing trades. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. We designed the Scope Markets app with the customer experience in mind as we seek to respond to feedback from our customers.”
He added that enhancing the client experience builds upon the robust trading platform, Meta Trader 5, unveiled in 2019, enabling Scope Markets Kenya to broaden the asset classes available on the trading platform.