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Thika group wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to settle land dispute

CENTRAL
By Kamau Maichuhie | April 19th 2016
Members of Maasai Village Women’s Self-Help Group in Kiang’mbe, Thika, protest on Saturday over alleged grabbing of their land by an investor who is putting up a factory. [PHOTO: KAMAU MAICHUHIE/STANDARD]

A self-help group claims a seven-acre parcel of land in Kiang’ombe, Thika has been irregularly sold.

Speaking on the disputed piece of land where they held special general meeting, members of the Maasai Village Women’s Self-Help Group said it was only the Government that could help them reclaim their land.

They unanimously ratified a proposal to write to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi seeking their help over the matter.

 The group’s chairman, Peter Ndukuthio, said they had not contracted any broker to sell the land on their behalf, adding that the investor was conned.  “This is our land which was given to us in early 1990s by the Government as a reward for supporting it during the multiparty revolution. We have not sold part of our land to anyone and we are not intending to do so. We shall not accept our land to be taken away,” said Mr Ndukuthio.

Over 1,500 families are now facing eviction and are likely to be rendered homeless as the investor who bought the land has vowed to continue with construction. Last week, the row over the disputed land deepened after both parties which are laying claim on the land clashed.

 LAND BROKER

Hell broke loose when hundreds of members of the group stormed the construction site where the investor is said to be putting up a factory.

The investor was forced to run for his dear life as members of the group were baying for his blood. A standoff ensued between the group members and armed youth who were guarding workers at the site.

It took the intervention of the police from Makongeni Police Station to calm down the situation.

The group claimed that it had already paid Sh6 million to the Survey Department for demarcation and were only waiting to be issued with title deeds.

“We are privy to information that the land broker has been working with a senior official from the Ministry of Lands who used to work at the Thika lands office a few years ago to transfer the seven acres to the unsuspecting investor,” said Patrick Kamunyo, the group’s vice chairman.

During the weekend meeting, members also unanimously resolved to seek a restriction order from the court in order to stop any further construction on the land. The investor claims he bought the land from a broker at the cost of Sh45 million.

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