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Wanjigi, Kioni caught up in Ndabibi land chaos

 Businessman Jimmy Wanjigi. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Police lobbed teargas canisters to disperse farmers who had converged for prayers on the disputed Ndabibi land in Naivasha.

Businessman Jimmy Wanjigi and Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni were caught up in the melee that saw police arrest residents.

The controversy over the ownership of the land deepened recently when Naivasha MP Jayne Kihara, who is a member of the National Assembly's Land Committee, revealed that the land belongs to President William Ruto, who bought it from Benjamin Kipkulei.

Police lobbed teargas canisters to disperse a crowd moments after Safina party leader Wanjigi had begun to castigate the government over alleged oppression and vowed to continue advocating for the rights of the people.

However, the businessman said Kipkulei's claim to the land was quashed by the court that ruled that he did not produce original documents for the land that formerly belonged to the Agricultural Development Corporation.

He criticized the deployment of hundreds of police on the land that has faced invasions saying that the court recently ordered them to vacate.

“The government should lead by example and obey court orders including the order to remove police officers from the land in question,” said Wanjigi.

The Safina Party leader who was speaking in Naivasha promised to continue helping residents saying he recently secured the release of locals who were arrested and charged for allegedly invading the land.

Wanjigi vowed to traverse the country and flag land-grabbing cases that have hit Naivasha, Kilgoris, Marsabit, Kajiado and Taita Taveta counties.

Area MCA Jane Gituku decried the continued oppression of the locals whom she said have the right to claim ownership of the land.

She lauded the leaders' solidarity with residents saying that the battle will not end until the land is returned to the community.

Former Chief Administrative Secretary Zack Kinuthia said the decision by the government to deploy more than 500 police officers to guard the disputed land is unconstitutional and the same was illegally allocated to the President.

Kinuthia declared that they would not relent in fighting for the democratic rights of the residents who have been subjected to detention without trial.

Advocate Ndegwa Njiru said he would fight for the accused in court until they get what rightfully belongs to them.

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