Row as squatters contest NLC verdict on Sh 12 billion land

National Land Commission vice chairperson Abigael Mbagaya Mukolwe during the interview with the Sta ndard at her office in Ardhi house, Nairobi. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

An order by the Government that a Sh12 billion forest in Kiambu be degazzetted and the 419-acre piece of land be shared among a group of squatters has triggered a row among squatters.

The move by the National Land Commission (NLC) to recognise one group of squatters has now opened a can of worms with the other three groups now contesting decision.

Kamiti Anmer Development Association (Kada), Muungano wa Kamiti Society, Kamiti Forest Squatters Association and Kamiti Anmer Squatters Welfare have been laying claim to the land.

Geoffrey Munge, the sectary of Muungango wa Kamiti Society, said they were unhappy with the verdict as some groups had been sidelined.

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“We have all been living on the land and have fought the battle to have the land together. It is surprising that NLC in the verdict seems to give the land to one group. We will not allow that to happen,” said Mr Munge.

“We are telling NLC that we are not happy with their decision at all. If they do not reconsider their verdict, we will go to court to contest the gazette notice giving the land to only one group,” he added.

In a gazette notice dated March 1, 2019, former  NLC Vice Chairperson Abigael Mbagaya allowed claims by Kamiti Anmer Development Association(KADA) that it was the rightful owner of the land.

Ms Mbagaya in the gazette notice said the commission had allowed claims by squatters to have the land gazetted.

“The allotment letters issued by members of the second claimant (Kamiti Anmer Development Association) are found to be valid and therefore the rightful occupants of the subject land,” reads the gazette notice by the commission.

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NLC in the gazette notice also directed KADA and squatters to adopt alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, saying, the land should be partly redistributed to the squatters.

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NLCNational Land CommissionAbigael Mukolwe