Court stops eviction of squatters from disputed 2300 acre Sir Ramson Farm
Squatters on the disputed 2,300-acre Sir Ramson Farm have obtained interim orders, stopping the management of Gicheha Farm and others from evicting them.
Gicheha Farm is owned by the Kenyatta family, who donated the land in 2013 to settle thousands of squatters who had been living on Sir Ramson Farm since 1974.
Gicheha Farm acquired Sir Ramson Farm from its original white owner in 1974, and settled Kenyan refugees from Tanzania after the collapse of the defunct East African Community.
One man has been killed and several police officers injured in violent clashes between the squatters and security forces.
Some 800 squatters were issued with title deeds by Deputy President William Ruto in the run up to the last General Election.
The temporary orders were issued by Mombasa High Court judge A Omollo on March 8 this year after Benson Luswety Wanyonyi and others moved to court. Gicheha Farm and others are the defendants in the case.
“It is hereby ordered that an injunction be and is hereby granted directing that the 1st defendant and or his agents be stopped from demolishing, evicting and in any way interfering with the applicants possession of the portion of land,” said the High Court order seen by The Standard.
The order prohibits survey and demarcation exercise of the land in question.
The interim orders will last for 14 days. The matter will be mentioned on March 21 this year.
“If any person(s) served with this order disobeys the same, he or she shall be cited for contempt and may be punished by a fine and or imprisonment for six (6) months or both,” said the order.
The squatters however said they were yet to serve the orders to the defendants allegedly due to "security reasons".
Taveta OCPD Samson Gababa Darso said they were yet to receive such orders.
“We have not been doing any eviction and there is no order that has been served to us. Eviction is not our work,” the OCPD told The Standard yesterday.
The order comes at a time when thousands of squatters at the controversial farm fled their farms after their houses were demolished.
Kenya Red Cross (KRC) and village elders put the figure of those affected at more than 1,000.
KRC Coast Regional Manager Hassan Musa told The Standard that they were still carrying out an assessment to determine the actual figure of those evicted.
“We have not finalised our report and we cannot disclose more details. Once we are through with our report then we will make it public,” he said.
Evictions from the farm, which is part of Ziwani Settlement Scheme in Taveta Sub-County, are being carried out to prevent further destruction of the water catchment area.
Senior Government officials want thousands of squatters living on the land settled elsewhere. Clashes between security forces and the squatters have led to several deaths and destruction of properties in the past.
land squattersgicheha farmsir ramson farmeviction of squattersland title deeds