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Group sues MP after allegations of scheme to grab its 100-acre land

COUNTIES
By Kamau Maichuhie | January 31st 2017
Kirinyaga Central MP Gachoki Gitari

A self-help group in Kikuyu, Kiambu County, has sued Kirinyaga Central MP Joseph Gachoki Gitari over claims he is attempting to grab its 100 acres of land.

Thogoto Ukai Self Help Group accuses Gachoki, who is linked to a land surveying company, Geo-Acre Surveys, of using fake documents to take over its land near Dagoretti Forest.

In suit papers before Thika Environment and Land Court, the group, jointly with its secretary Peter Keni Kanuna, accuses the MP of lodging fictitious and fraudulent documents, at the Survey of Kenya (SOK) and the land registry, without knowledge or instructions and is now threatening to evict them.

The applicants claim they have had the prime agricultural land registered as LR NO 2256/8 (originally 2256/7/1) since 1950.

The group further said it fulfilled requirements when acquiring the land and that their application for allocation was approved by the Ministry of Lands on January 4, 2014.

The applicants have attached a letter written by National Land Commission (NLC) on January 24, 2014 to back their claims.

"This is to inform you the National Land Commission has approved the allocation of the above plot to your group subject to the planning of the site. You are kindly advised to liaise with the director of physical planning for the planning of the site to facilitate formalisation of the allocation," reads the letter signed by J.O. Kemoni on behalf of the chairman of NLC.

The group says the allotment letter to the property is currently with the commission. "Without any scintilla of justification, the MP, in the company of a gang whose members are unknown to the applicants, entered the suit property, destroyed their crops and purported to survey and sub-divide the land," reads part of suit documents.

The group says the MP is not its member and has not been instructed to undertake survey on the property.

"The first defendant's action did not follow due process and therefore his actions are callous, illegal and constitute a deliberate attempt to grab the suit property. His actions are oppressive, unlawful and are blatant violation of the applicants' constitutional right to land ownership," reads the suit documents.

The MP has been named as the first defendant, while the director of SOK and the Chief Land Registrar are the second and third defendants.

The NLC has been enjoined as an interested party. The group says the MP has ignored its demands to keep off the land and is instead determined to evict its members.

The group is seeking an injunction restraining the MP, the director of surveys and the chief land registrar from interfering with the land pending determination of the case. The case will be heard on February 6.

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