Politicians fund land invasions at Coast, police say

OCPD Benjamin Rotich. [File]
Politicians are part of cartels inciting residents to eject non-locals from their land, police in Likoni have said.

The claim by area OCPD Benjamin Rotich follows last week’s incident in which people said to be hired goons invaded land belonging to businessman Osman Ibrahim, fenced and occupied it.

Mr Rotich warned that they would firmly deal with anyone found inciting residents to invade private land.

“The police will not be intimidated by anyone trying to subvert the law,” Rotich said, adding that anyone laying claim on land must provide proof of ownership.

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Police say they believe politicians and cartels involved in land speculation have now resorted to violence and other tactics to grab land.

A senior administrator, who did not wish to be named, claimed some of the politicians involved in the illegal land transactions were threatening to lobby for removal of Government and security officials who have stood in their way.

In last week’s incident, the goons invaded the 0.00443 hectares, near Shelly Beach, and erected a perimeter wall.  

Ibrahim says he is a victim of land grabbing. He has called on authorities to help him recover the land, under title deed MBSA/MSA/Block V, from the invaders.

Due process

The trader yesterday told The Standard he followed due process when he acquired the land seven years ago and that he had all the documents to prove he was its rightful owner.

Ibrahim said he was shocked to learn that someone else, not the one who sold the land to him, had claimed he owned the property. He, however, noted that the person who sold him the land had told him he had bought it from a local group for Sh300,000.

When Ibrahim found his land occupied by strangers, he reported to Likoni Police Station, where he was asked to produce ownership documents, a report the OCPD confirmed yesterday.

“He (Ibrahim) was here with the land ownership documents. We verified them at the lands office and believe he has a genuine land title deed. Any other person claiming the same property must provide proof. In the meantime, the police will ensure the law is not violated,” Rotich said.

Meanwhile, a senior detective investigating the incident said he had received threats from several politicians.

“One of the politicians said I don’t know my work and that he will teach me a lesson. He told me to stop the investigations and concentrate on other issues because this is their home,” the officer said.

Several other senior security officials also alleged they had been threatened with transfers if they tried to disorganise or probe land cartels.

One of them told The Standard he was told he would be transferred to “dry areas of northern Kenya”.

Using savings

Mr Ibrahim said he had been paying land rates of Sh18,000 annually for the property he bought with his savings. “I was not allocated this land by Government nor did I inherit it from anyone. It is my land, I bought it,” said Ibrahim.

He blamed his woes on local politicians “keen to dispossess me”. “Kenya is guided by the rule of law. Let anyone claiming this land provide evidence to police or a court of law,” said Ibrahim. 

Rotich warned leaders against intimidating locals.

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Benjamin RotichLand invasionCoastLand row