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Gilgil residents protest "grabbing" of 50 acres public land

RIFT VALLEY
By Antony Gitonga | March 6th 2020

At least 300 families living in Kamathatha village have protested the grabbing of public land locally.

The families want the county government and the Ministry of Lands to repossess the 50 acres grabbed by private investors. 

Yesterday, the families held a peaceful demonstration as the new investors continued to demarcate the land.

Their spokesperson, Sospeter Wamae, said the land was set aside for public use in 1984 with the help of former Cabinet minister Njenga Karume.

Mr Wamae said 25 acres were allocated for the construction of a primary school and the rest left for construction of a hospital, a market and a shopping center.

Wamae said the families had raised the issue with government offices several times, with no one paying attention to their pleas. 

“We have reported the issue to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission. No action has been taken,” he said.

 Jonathan Muturi, an elder in the village concurred with the families, saying residents had visited all government offices but got no assistance.

He questioned how the new owners acquired public land and started to sub-divide it without the authorities raising any issue.

“We think those who have benefited from this land are senior government officers, some who have been threatening us," Mr Muturi said.

"We are very poor families. Our only hope lies with the President and his government.”

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