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Residents accuse tycoons of grabbing land scheme in Rongai

Pristone Mambili
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Residents camp outside ex-Jack Evans Settlement scheme in Rongai, Nakuru County which they claim has been grabbed by tycoons and sold out leaving the community vulnerable. [Pristone Mambili]

Conflict has erupted over the ownership of a 30-acre piece of land, a scheme in Rongai, Nakuru  after residents claimed the land has been grabbed by tycoons and sold out.

The residents, who claim to be the real owners of the piece of land, said the land is utility land that was meant to benefit them through construction of amenities but has been grabbed.

They said they have no school and a hospital.

The  land was reportedly donated by Jack Evans.

 In a letter dated 18th of October 2015, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption commission cited that the commission shall institute investigations into the matter.

“The commission shall institute investigations into the alleged grabbing of public land to inform appropriate action,” read part of the letter.

However, the residents say this has bore no fruits as they are yet to receive any communication from the relevant authorities.

Nyaguthie Maathai urged the government to punish land grabbers.

“We have had problems since this land was grabbed and our question is where the government in all this is?” she said.

Jecintah Wairimu said they have suffered for long without a school.

“It pains a lot to be like slaves in your own country….children walking several kilometers to access education, water, hospital,” she said.

"We have written to almost all the government officials concerning thus matter but no response apart from the EACC which said it will investigate but they are taking too long. We are telling them that if they don’t act then by Tuesday 16th January 2018 we shall take over the land and fence it for it belongs to us," John William said.

“We have written to almost everyone more than 20 offices but no replies so we wonder are we animals? We are telling the government that if they don’t act soon we are taking the land by force on Tuesday 16th January” he added.

On her part, Bernadetta Yano Sigei who claims to have bought the land from one Paul Lang’at said throughout the process, there was no indication that the land was public utility.

“We bought the land and we have the document and if there is any issue let the community go to the lands and sort out. If it turns out that I erred in purchasing the land then I will return the land to the community” she said.

When contacted over phone, National Land Commission Chairman Mohammed Swazuri said he is aware of the matter and they will find a solution.

Speaking over the phone, Nakuru County National Lands Commission official Frank Ole Kimbelekenya said a meeting will be held on Tuesday January 16 at Kampi ya Moto to address the matter.

“I had signed the letter but realized there were other engagements so by noon I had communicated to the residents that the meeting will not take place until Tuesday next week,” said Kimbelekenya.

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-Pristone Mambili

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