Ongoing invasion of private land dangerous

Intruders invade former President Uhuru Kenyatta's family expansive Northlands farm land located along the Eastern Bypass on March 27, 2023. [Silas Otieno, Standard]

A bad precedent was set when hundreds of well organised thugs invaded the land of former President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family nearly two weeks ago in Kiambu County.

They felled trees using powers saws, carted away more than 1,000 sheep, partly sub-divided the land while some of them even had the audacity to put up an iron-sheet structure during the day of madness.

Sadly, the incident took place days after some leaders warned that the Kenyattas’ land could be invaded over the Azimio demonstrations that the former president was being accused of bankrolling.

A day after, there were reports of a private ranch, this time in Narok, being invaded by some 200 people. Then on good Friday, hundreds of machete-wielding youths invaded part of the Vipingo Sisal farm in Kilifi County.

That was followed quickly by news of invasion of several large-scale farms in Naivasha by people who were armed with crude weapons, who immediately started tilling sections of the land.

Such news should worry every peace loving Kenyan; every person who respects the constitutionally bestowed right for any citizen to own property in any corner of our great country.

It appears that some people wrongly believe that they can invade and occupy land belonging to wealthy Kenyans and nothing will happen to them.

The government must act swiftly and remind them that our country is governed by the rule of law and that there are no short-cuts to owning property. It must ensure that they all have their day in court.

Failure to take action will embolden more people to start invading perceived rich people’s properties. That will be tantamount to paving the road to anarchy because when they are done with tycoons who own thousands of acres, they will go for those with 100 acres and then 10 acres. No one will be safe.

Police should also investigate the motivation behind the rising private land invasions and whether some leaders are inciting poor people to do so. We must arrest this problem now before it metamorphoses into a nightmare.