Court denies farmers access to disputed Ndabibi land

Members of Mwana Mwireri farm in Ndabibi Naivasha visit a section of the 343 acres after a court ruled in their favor after a 25-year-old dispute. [Antony Gitonga, Standard]

A Naivasha court has dismissed a suit by Ndibithi Farmers Company that sought to give them access to the disputed land in Ndabibi, Naivasha.

The suit also sought to block the police from stopping invasions on the land.

Naivasha Principal Magistrate Eunice Kelly noted that the court did not have jurisdiction on the suit as ownership of the disputed land was already determined by the High Court in 2023.

“The court gave the parties an opportunity to file on the jurisdiction but the plaintiff did not file anything and I strike out this suit on grounds that this court lacks jurisdiction,” she said.

This comes a couple of weeks after youths including top officials of the company were arrested for invading over 5,000 acres and destroying property worth millions of shillings.

Last week one of the directors of the company Edward Maina and an accomplice Reuben Gitau were arrested for incitement, destruction of property and fraud.

The two, who have been charged in court and are being held at Naivasha Police station have been accused of allegedly  being the masterminds behind the invasion of the private farms.

Following the ruling, members of the Mwana Mwireri land company which lays claim to the property  thanked the court saying that they legally bought the 343 acres from ADC in 1998 and settled all the dues.

One of the members, Patrick Kimani noted that of the total 2,500 members of the company, only 157 managed to buy the land from the government agency.

He said they got allotment letters and some started farming before some leaders started inciting residents leading to invasion of their land and eviction.

“There are some elected leaders who are inciting members of the public about this land and we are asking the government to deal with them as per the law,” he said.

Kimani said that they had won all the court cases against the splinter group which did not have any ownership documents.

This was echoed by Reverend Willie Ndung’u who blamed the impasse and tension in the area on the incitement by a group that was hoodwinking the public to buy the land.

“We are warning members of the public to be wary of some conmen who are illegally selling part of this land at Sh15,000 per share,” he said.

David Nderitu narrated how he was brutally evicted from his farm in 2017 and reduced to a tenant despite paying for the land and getting ownership documents.

“Those involved burnt my house and killed my livestock and we are calling on the government to intervene so that we can reclaim our land,” he said.

Another member, Hellen Nyambura said that they were ready to start farming or leasing the land despite threats and intimidation from the splinter group.