Squatters want land dispute resolved

The East Africa Portland Cement in this undated photo.

Thousands of squatters living on the disputed East Africa Portland Cement Company land in have called for a quick alternative dispute resolution as recommended by a Ministry of Land taskforce committee.

The 12-member committee handed over the report on the state of the land on May 8.

The taskforce report admitted the presence of squatters on the 12,000 acres and recommended that they be probed to identify genuine squatters and exploit alternative dispute resolution to avert any land dispute.

"A multi-sectoral initiative involving all stakeholders, national government, county government, the National Land Commission and local leadership should be used in future.... Parties should consider settlement out of court," it recommended.

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Speaking during their annual prayer meeting in Athi River, the squatters said the process was yet to start.

"Some individuals have been saying they will bar any engagements involving us as locals. We are ready to engage all stakeholders to resolve the matter," said Agnes Muimi, a squatter.

Pius Musembi, Syokimau Mavoko Community Association chairperson, said: "We registered as organised groups to facilitate orderly living and empower one another."

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The groups have been engaged in a tug of war with people who claim ownership of the land.

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