77-year-old living in fear after people invade his land and place beacons

77-year-old Joseph Kurgat inspecting his 12.55 hectare of land at Kapsetek village in Rongai, Nakuru County on after of people invaded the land destroyed the fence and placed beacons. [Kipsang Joseph/Standard]
A 77-year-old man from Kapsetek village in Rongai woke up on Friday morning to find part of his land taken over.

Joseph Kurgat claims that seven people invaded his property last Friday and put up beacons on part of his 12.55 hectares despite him having proof of ownership.

Mr Kurgat said the portion of land excised was approximately two acres and that his fence and water pipes were destroyed during the invasion.

“I woke up on August 3 and realised beacons had been placed on a portion of the land. A fence around my farm was also demolished,” he said, adding that he had lived on the land for 46 years.

“I have not heard and or seen anyone lay claim to my land; I have lived here since 1972.”

Kurgat reported the incident at Menengai Police Station and said the matter was booked under OB Number 18/03/08/2018.

Acquired land

A title deed seen by The Standard indicates Kurgat acquired the land on January 13, 1989. The title was issued by the Nakuru lands registry.

He suspects that a dam built on the land between 1979 and 1980 might be the target of those who want to grab his land.

He said the dam, one of several constructed in the area to help control flooding, was initially part of his land.

“Between 1979 and 1980 there were floods in this area. Some people approached me to have the dam built here to prevent flooding in the lower parts. I thought it was a good idea and gave an acre,” he said.

Kurgat, who lives with his wife, suspects the people who invaded his land in the night were out to frustrate him into letting go of his land.

He said the invasions began early this year, and that he first reported the matter at Menengai Police Station in March, when it was booked under OB No 14/7/3.2018.

He then went to court and filed a suit against eight people, including an official of a water services company and a regional administrator he suspected wanted to dispossess him of the land.

Kurgat claimed the eight had invaded his land. Among other things, he wanted a court order barring the eight from trespassing on the land.

The court allowed the application on March 9.

“That pending hearing and determination of this application, this honorable court is hereby pleased to issue an injunction order restraining the defendants (the eight) either by themselves, surveyors agents, servants from surveying, measuring, placing beacons, using and occupying the suit land,” read the order seen by The Standard.

His case is still pending in court as the individuals sued sought time to reply.

According to Kurgat, the police are reluctant to act on the matter as no arrests have been made so far. But Menengai Police Station DCI Dorcas Cherui said the case had been reported and that investigations were going on.

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Joseph Kurgatland ownership row