Senators Summon Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney Over Schools Titling Programme.
Senators have asked for an update on the status of land title deeds for public schools, more than six years after President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the documents to be issued.
The Senate’s Land, Environment, and Natural Resources Committee has called Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney to testify before the committee today (Tuesday) to shed light on the situation.
According to a letter from Senate Clerk Jeremiah Nyegenye, Ms Karoney is expected to be grilled on what steps the ministry has taken to put the President’s 2015 directive into effect.
The Senate’s action follows Kericho Senator Aaron Cheruiyot’s request for a statement on the status of the program in November last year.
Another request for a statement was made a month earlier by Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja regarding the demolition of Martin Luther Primary School in Nairobi’s Makadara constituency by unknown people claiming the land.
Senator Sakaja also requested an update on the issuance of title deeds to Nairobi County public schools.
Ms Karoney, on the other hand, had failed to comply with the Senate land committee’s request for a comprehensive written response to the two senators’ concerns.
She had also failed to appear before the committee on five separate occasions to discuss the requested statements and related matters – on October 14 and 28, as well as December 1, 7, and 8, 2021.
The Senate warned Ms Karoney that if she did not appear and produce the required documents, the committee may impose upon you a fine not exceeding Sh500,000 or may order… “your arrest pursuant to sections 19(1) and (3) respectively of the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, 2017 … or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months”.
President Kenyatta promised in his State of the Nation address last November to secure the land tenure of Kenya’s educational institutions by issuing title deeds.
He stated that no school should be built on land that it does not own, calling the titling process a critical component of education reform.
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Only 4,999 public schools had title deeds to their land by 2015. However, this figure has risen to over 12,000 schools out of a total of 32,354. Senators want a report on the status of the program against this backdrop.
They also want a list of schools that have not received their title deeds, as well as the reasons why.
Lawmakers also want Ms Karoney to explain whether the government funds a panel formed to address the issue in order to expedite the process.
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