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Family escape death after attack over land dispute n Nandi

By Edward Kosut | April 24th 2020

A family in Aldai, Nandi County, is living in fear after unknown people attacked and destroyed their home over a land dispute.

Samuel Rotich, a resident of Kiprotgorik village, said the Saturday night incident almost claimed the lives of his wife and six children.

“We were awakened by a bang on the roof a few minutes past 11 pm. I went out to check but the gang continued throwing stones,” Rotich said. “In the darkness, I told my wife to move out with the children to safety.”

After realising the family had escaped, the gang broke into the house and destroyed their belongings as they hid under the cover of darkness.

What remained, according to Rotich, was broken plastic seats, scattered pieces of utensils and iron sheets cut to pieces.

Emily Jepkoech, Mr Leting’s wife, recounted that a heavy stone fell through the iron sheet roof and almost hit her baby.

“Despite our calls for help none of the neighbours came to our rescue. We managed to escape and spend the night a kilometre away from home,” she narrated.

According to the family, the incident could have been sparked by a prolonged land dispute between Stephen Maru and eight other people who are claiming ownership of the land.

For more than 20 years, Rotich has been a caretaker of the disputed land.

Kipkorir Kosgei, who claims to be a beneficiary of the land, said they were angered by a move to involve police officers from Kabuchoi to flash them out from the disputed parcel of land.

“The land is owned by the community and we as the sons demand our rights and justice,” he said.

But Mr Maru dismissed the claims, saying he bought 22.6 hectares of land in 1975 from the late Kiptabut Kios, claiming that the sons of the deceased attacked Rotich in a bid to take over the land.

“The people encroached into the land and cultivated and upon seeking police intervention to stop the activities, they sought revenge by evicting the caretaker,” stated Maru.

According to Aldai Sub-county police boss John Owuoth, Maru reported the invasion of his land to the police.

“Police evicted the people who were conducting agricultural activities in the disputed land,” said Mr Owuoth.

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