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Court saves surveyor for protecting land donated by the Kenyatta family

By Everlyne Kwamboka | October 11th 2020

A surveyor who had been transferred and demoted for speaking against injustices to squatters is set to return to her old station.

Rachel Mutheu Ndambuki has been taking on grabbers who want to take away 2,224 acres of land donated to squatters by the Kenyatta family.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney and the Attorney General Kihara Kariuki’s office are to pay her Sh3.5 million for general damages suffered after the court found she acted within her mandate as a public officer in protecting the squatters.

“The petitioner was transferred and demoted in one fell swoop, because she discharged her survey role at Ziwani Settlement Scheme, in accordance with the Constitution and the law. She protected genuine squatters against deprivation of what the settlement scheme offered,” Employment and Labour Court judge James Rika ruled.

Justice Rika, who sits in Mombasa, said Ndambuki acted in promotion and protection of constitutional order and rule of the law.

She will now return to Taita Taveta County as the Head of Survey department after the court declared a letter that moved her to Garissa County on a lower position, was null and void.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family donated the property in 2013/2014.

The land was excised from the family’s Gacheha farm in Taita Taveta County and allocated to 850 some squatters, two acres per person.

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The Kenyatta’s are said to have made it clear in their donation that the remaining land was to be reserved for public utilities.

However, when Ndambuki was transferred to the county in 2017, she discovered that 40 plots had not been properly allocated and the genuine squatters did not benefit from the donation.

The court was told there are letters written by the Land Registrar Taita Taveta District, showing the settlement exercise resulted in disputes as genuine squatters who were identified from the outset, were denied their rightful titles, while third parties, sought to grab what was not intended for them.

Ndambuki was invited to the dispute settlement and declined to advance the grabbing of land reserved for squatters.

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