Since yesterday, the hashtag #UhuruWaitikiLies has been trending on Twitter.
KOT lot always considers itself quite knowledgeable on many matters, but this trending topic has exposed the long suspected underbelly – most are ignorant on many things.
The topic at hand was leasehold and freehold.
In very basic terms, if you own land on leasehold, you are just a ‘custodian’ for a specified duration and the land reverts to the government after the end of your lease. The most common duration is 99 years.
However, upon the expiry of your lease, the constitution gives you first priority to re-acquire the land as long as it is not needed for public use.
On the other hand, Freehold means you are the absolute owner with no need to worry over expiry of leases and all that. You can even pass down the land to your descendants.
Leasehold is actually more common than most people think, especially in urban areas.
So when the President was giving out the Waitiki ‘Title Deeds’, it turns out they were ‘mere’ Certificates of Leases.
The details are sketchy, but apparently the squatters are required to pay Sh182,000 over the course of three years to own the land.
“I have to tell you the truth and not politicking around this matter. The government spent money from the Settlement Trust Fund kitty to pay Waitiki, this money has to be returned,” said Uhuru.
Uhuru stood his ground even after local leaders pleaded with him to waive the money.
“We have an option of either extending that paying period from three years to 12 years, but we cannot waive away that money.”
“This is the best deal I can give you,” he said.
Of course Twitter went on overdrive.
A video of Uhuru reminding the residents there that they did not vote for him has gone viral.
— Adhiambo Opondo (@a_opondo) January 10, 2016
It was interpreted that Uhuru was punishing the squatters with the Sh180,000 ‘fine’ because they never voted for him.
The top tweet was from none other than Jicho Pevu’s Mohammed Ali.
But was this really the case?
Upon analyzing another other clip from NTV, you realize that the President did not remind them of their failure to vote for him, immediately after telling them to pay for the land. Those were two different moments of his speech combined cunningly to drive a point home.
In real sense, the President talked of coast’s ‘voting pattern’ in 2013 when driving the point home that he was not there presently to campaign.
Video editing as used in this context is not a foreign term, and as we approach the elections, it will be a much more common occurrence from both sides. Don’t be surprised to see clips 2 years apart joined into one controversial statement.