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National Land Commission expels Bamburi squatters

By Patrick Beja | March 14th 2016

NAIROBI, KENYA: The National Land Commission (NLC) has asked the more than 200 squatters who forcibly occupied more than 85 acres (34.72 hectares) belonging to Zum Zum Investment two years ago to leave.
It is estimated that 200 squatters have put up temporary structures and 60 of them particularly unsuspecting buyers have constructed permanent buildings on the disputed land.
In a report dated March 10, 2016 and signed by NLC chairman Muhammad Swazuri, the commission noted that the land belonged to Zum Zum Investment which produced a genuine title deed while the squatters failed to prove ownership.
Prof Swazuri said the commission asked both the squatters and Zum Zum to submit their ownership documents in September last year and those of the private firm were seen to be in order.
"The other claimants have not produced any documents to prove ownership other than stating that they have ancestral rights. It should be made clear that under the Constitution and land laws of Kenya, it is an offence for one to invade and occupy other person's land whether public or private," Prof Swazuri warned.
Meanwhile, a manager at Zum Zum Investment Mr Abdulrasul Swaleh confirmed the hostile squatters have formed a cartel that was selling the land at about Sh350,000 a parcel and unsuspecting buyers were putting up permanent houses despite a warning from them. Such parcels normally sell at Sh1.5 million and above in the area.
"For the last two years we have tried to access our land but the hostile cartel has threatened us and claiming that the land was theirs. They have advertised the land for sale at public places like supermarkets and unsuspecting buyers are being conned," said Swaleh.
The commission directed that the invasion on the land registration number CR 17051/10 be stopped and no physical developments or transactions should be allowed.
"It should be made clear that under the Constitution and land laws of Kenya, it is an offence for one to invade and occupy other person's land, whether public or private. Using the same laws and the Constitution, the NLC is directing that any invasion on the said parcel be stopped and no physical developments or transaction should be allowed," Prof Swazuri warned.
The commission said there have been several complaints, court cases and skirmishes involving several privately owned lands in Kisauni division of Mombasa county.
Swazuri decried a trend where some people occupy private land claiming they have ancestral rights or the parcels were wrongly taken away from the local people.
He said there were a lot of rumours that the private owners did not have proper ownership documents leading to the illegal invasions.
"The NLC has visited several of these lands and held a number of consultative meetings over the same. In some of the visits, the NLC was accompanied by elected leaders of Mombasa County," said Prof Swazuri.
A copy of the report was sent to Governor Hassan Joho, county commissioner Evans Achoki, Kisauni MP Rashid Bedzimba, Bamburi ward representative Riziki Fundi, Zum Zum Investments and the representatives of the squatters.

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