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Kajiado residents get back 200,000 hectares of grabbed land

By Graham Kajilwa | Updated Mon, February 20th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3
National Lands Commission (NLC) chairman Muhammad Swazuri said an earlier adjudication that saw the land allocated to outsiders was unprocedural.

The lands agency has given back to residents of Kajiado 200,000 hectares said to have been illegally allocated.

National Lands Commission (NLC) chairman Muhammad Swazuri said an earlier adjudication that saw the land allocated to outsiders was unprocedural.

In a letter to acting Chief Registrar at Ardhi House and Chief Land Adjudication Office Kajiado County, Swazuri said the rightful ancestral owners of the Mosiro Ranch did not benefit from their land.

"All properties were allocated to non-locals, from outside Kajiado Mosiro Group Ranch, against applicable laws and procedures," Dr Swazuri said in the letter dated February 14, also copied to Lands Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi.

The residents had written to the commission last year, through Kajiado West MP Moses Ole Sakuda, complaining their land had been grabbed.

Locals started fighting for the land in 1986 when it alleged Keekonyokie clan allocated the land secretly without involving the minority Purko clan that felt disenfranchised.

"Demarcation was then done, secretly by surveyors in 1990, and allocation was also done without knowledge of Mosiro Ranch committee members," read the findings by NLC.

Upon receiving the petition, the commission published a notice of the hearing in the dailies, inviting all interested parties who were required to come with their land documents.

Among the documents required were letters of ownership, receipt of payments, adjudication register number, title deeds, identity cards and any other relevant documents. The hearing was held on January 26 and 27.

The findings indicated that none of the parties produced title deeds to prove ownership during the hearing of the submissions even after some had claimed they legally bought land from the committee.

"Some interested parties had purchased land from others but did not know the history of adjudication. Some claimed they paid committee members to be allocated the land," reads the NLC report.

Further, the alleged owners were not even aware of the actual location of the land in dispute as they did not hail from the area.

A map from NLC shows the boundary of Mosiro Group Ranch starts from Olchani Orok running towards Olekaria, Kapit, Emboliel Nagol. It also borders Narok-Kajiado counties at the peek of Oloontiil.

In September 2016, NLC issued a 21-day ultimatum for those holding 150,000 hectares allegedly grabbed from the community to submit ownership documents for verification.

"The parties claimed they were allocated the land yet adjudication is merely recognising ancestral rights of occupants of land," Swazuri said.

"Having reviewed submissions of all parties and documents, the commission hereby directs that the Kajiado-Mosiro adjudication be declared illegal and nullifies the same," declared Swazuri. Consequently, NLC directed a fresh adjudication, done in consultation with locals.

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