The last leg of LDGI's Public Stakeholder Engagement Forums began with a Stakeholders Forum bringing together opinion leaders and land sector stakeholders from Imenti North & Imenti Central sub-counties at Thiiri Centre on Tuesday 30th September 2014. Among the leaders in attendance included Njuri Ncheke National Secretary General, Mr. Phares Ruteere, Njuri Ncheke Imenti North Chairman Mr. Mworia, Njuri Ncheke Member, Senator Muthamia, Methodist Church of Kenya Kaaga Synod Supernumerary Bishop Lawi Imathiu and Maendeleo Ya Wanawake Chairlady, Catherine Clifford. The National Government was represented as well by Imenti North Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Njoka, Municipality Assistant County Commissioner, Mr. Maina, and local area chiefs.
Mr. Ruteere highlighted the ongoing debate surrounding the Meru County and Isiolo County border as a key issue within the sub-county and the county as a whole and requested for LDGI to be part of this discussion and ensure a solution that will be of mutual benefit to the two counties. Bishop Lawi Imathiu urged leaders in the community to be keen on matters concerning land as it was central to the development of the county. Imenti North Deputy County Commissioner further emphasized the centrality of land to Meru County's economic growth and called upon citizens to take as much as they can from the forum on dispute resolution, caution when engaging brokers and clarity on Land Control Boards with the advent of County Land Management Boards.
LDGI Executive Director Mr. Mwenda Makathimo in his presentation on 'Status of Land Reforms in Kenya' urged the Meru and Isiolo County Governments to let the relevant institutions correctly determine the location of the boundary. He further urged leaders to be keen on land officials within the county and follow up on appointments so as to be able to hold them accountable. LDGI Board Member, Prof. Johnstone Kiamba presented on 'Planning, Subdivisions, Boundaries and Dispute Resolution' and called upon participants to make good use of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms (provided for in the Constitutions and in Law) and take advantage of the Njuri Ncheke Council of Elders when resolving disputes.
Key issues that came out during the plenary session included: link between National Government instruments and County Government instruments; lack of title deeds for a large section of Meru County, Boundary and planning requirements surrounding developments and the role of Land Control Boards in resolving land Disputes.
In closing, Municipality Assistant County Commissioner, Mr. Maina thanked the Institute for holding the forum as land disputes were on the rise within the county and the clarity on the new dispensation should improve the chiefs' input in dispute resolution at grassroots level.