If the order is effected, the entire Takaungu village, which historically, was a slave trading post run by Arabs during the 15th to the19th centuries, trading centres, hospitals, schools will be pulled down to pave way for occupation by the Mazrui.
The families who fear being rendered destitute were allocated the land by the fallen Kanu government between 1992 and 1995, and given allotment letters but have never received title deeds.
However, the dispute between them and the Mazrui clan is almost half a century old. The Mazrui went to court in 1991 when the government declared intention to share out the land to the local landless people after the repeal of the Mazrui Land Act in 1989.
Despite going to court to block the allocation the government went ahead and dished out the parcel to the landless in 1992. Now the ruling by Justice Tuiyot has ignited fear and trepidation throughout Coast Province where 18 other such court orders have been issued to benefit so-called absentee landlords owning 77,000 acres on the Coastal strip. The Mazrui family led by Abdalla Mohamed first went to court in 1991 and obtained a temporary injunction against the then Commissioner for Lands from allocating the parcel to anybody. It also got orders restraining the then Kilifi District Land Adjudication and Settlement officer Mr J M Mutiso from adjudicating the land in the area.
In 1994 a court in Mombasa cited Mutiso for contempt after it was established he was adjudicating the land despite the injunction.
Thereafter the case dragged on until July 19 when Justice Tuiyot gave his verdict. Addressing angry villagers at a hurriedly convened meeting at Kayanda in Takaungu, Bahari District Commissioner Mr Christopher Siele assured them that nobody would be evicted. Applicants in the case, Abdalla Mohamed, Khamis Mohamed, Omar Abdallah Mohamed Suleiman and others sued the Government on behalf of the Mazrui.
The new chairman of Takaungu Land Adjudication Committee, Eliud Mwavita said the court’s decision took them by a surprise.
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