Taita Taveta squatters vow to stay put on disputed land

Senate Lands Committee Chairman Paul Githiomi Mwangi [Boniface Okendo,Standard]
Squatters living on the vast Voi Point Limited land have vowed to resist attempts by the management to evict them from what they termed their ancestral land.

About 3,000 squatters told the Senate Committee on Lands that the management of the farm had been using police to harass and intimidate them.

The Senate committee, chaired by Nyandarua Senator Mwangi Githiomi, was accompanied by Nominated Senator Victor Pringei (vice chairman) and Taita-Taveta Senator Jones Mwaruma. “Police have been using excessive force on us. We have no one to turn to,” Ibrahim Keya, 95, told the committee yesterday.

The committee will meet managers of Vio Point Limited at a later date.

SEE ALSO :Squatters write to Matiang'i in row over city land

Some of the squatters told the committee the management had evicted them without a notice and that they were also not allowed to protect graves of their forefathers.

“Graves of our forefathers were destroyed by the management of the sisal estate that has been changing hands,” noted Mr Keya.

They accused the Voi Lands Control Board of approving sub-division of the more than 4,860 acres without involvement of the squatters who had been living on the land since time immemorial.

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“The lands control board has nothing to do with land issues. How did the board approve sub-division without the involvement of the residents and county government,” posed Kaloleni MCA Ahmed Omar.

Githiomi assured the squatters that they would find a lasting solution to the problem and promised to meet Interior CS Fred Matiang’i over alleged police brutality.

SEE ALSO :Squatters seek Uhuru's help in Portland land row

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SquattersVoi Point Limited landSenate Committee on LandsNyandarua Senator Mwangi Githiomi