MCAs caution against demarcation of controversial Mwea land

A farmer at the Mwea irrigation scheme attending to her rice paddy. She fears her harvested crop could be of low quality due to the recent Elnino rains in Kirinyaga County. [Photo by Munene Kamau/Standard]
Four MCAs have warned of conflict if the county government proceeds with plan to erect beacons to demarcate Mwea Settlement Scheme.

Makima ward rep Phillip Nzangi and his Mwea counterpart Harrison Mwaluko told the county assembly that tension was rising in the area after Government officials met village elders to plan the exercise.

Local community

Mr Nzangi said the demarcation would go against the wishes of the local community, whom he said had been left out in land allocation.

“The local community feels marginalised and left out of the exercise. They are now threatening to stage protests against division of their land to newcomers,” he said as he demanded that erection of beacons be halted immediately.

He said President Uhuru Kenyatta, during a tour of the region last year, had directed that demarcation and allotment of land parcels at the settlement scheme be halted until further notice.

Mwaluko believes unrests are inevitable if those living on the Mwea land are evicted without consultations with the area leadership.

He clarified that no political leader had incited the locals, but added that the people would not sit back and watch as they are short-changed and deprived of their rights to own land.

Mwaluko called for consultations between local leaders, the Ministry of Interior and local residents in a bid to quell the rising tension in the area.

Rising tension

Kyeni South MCA Salesio Kimaru and nominated MCA Rose Kinyua also advised the county government to exercise extreme caution when handling the issues of the Mwea land.

Kimaru said the exercise should stop and public participation on the matter conducted.

Speaker Josiah Thiriku directed that the matter be committed to the County Assembly Committee on Lands for further investigations.

He ordered the committee, in consultation with all stakeholders and resource persons, to get to the bottom of the matter and compile a report within 14 days.

The speaker said the assembly would deliberate on the observations and recommendations of the Lands Committee and make a resolution.

mwea irrigation schememwea land disputemwea settlement scheme