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Help save my land, woman begs State

RIFT VALLEY
By Mercy Kahenda | May 1st 2020

65-year-old Pauline Maiyo. She says she was allocated 30 acres in 1993, but now middlemen are trying to forcefully evict her.

A 65-year-old woman in Ol Jorai, Gilgil Sub-county, has accused the Ministry of Lands of frustrating her efforts to repossess her own land.

Pauline Maiyo said despite numerous complaints to the ministry, some individuals are forcefully trying to evict her from the 30-acre property that she was allocated by the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC).

According to documents seen by The Standard, Ms Maiyo was allocated the land in 1993, and it was recorded as plot number 155, 156 and 157.

“I am pleased to inform you that the government has allocated you for purchase 10 acres or thereabouts of land at ADC Ol Jorrai,” reads the allotment letter in part. “You will shortly be informed of the mode of payment. You can go ahead and take possession of the said parcel of land after it has been surveyed.”         

Living nightmare

The former employee of the defunct Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation said while planning to develop the parcel, she realised it had been reallocated to a different person.

Criminals armed with crude weapons, she said, have been raiding the farm, threatening her and her shamba boy. Furthermore, she continued, the criminals erected a temporary structure on her land at 2am last Sunday.

“I am living in fear of being killed by fraudulent individuals who want to forcefully acquire my parcel of land. I am worried that the ministry has done nothing to settle the dispute,” she told The Standard at the farm.

Maiyo said after being issued with the parcel, she planted trees, fenced it, erected a semi- permanent house and kept livestock. In 2010, she said ADC handed over the parcel to the settlement department at the Ministry of Lands that was to issue allotment letters to assist the owners acquire tittle deeds.

However, Maiyo was shocked to discover that her parcel of land had been allocated to a different person.

“There was no clear structure of paying land rates and levies, but unfortunately, while in the process, I realised the same parcel had illegally been sold without my knowledge,” she said. In 2011, she went to court and got an injunction on the parcel of land.

“Pending hearing and determination of this application inter-parties the court be and is hereby pleased to issue orders of temporary injunction restraining entry, advertising, transferring whatsoever with suit property,” reads a section of the injunction issued at the Nakuru law courts on January 17 this year.

The case was to be heard in April 15, but was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maiyo’s son, Evans Tuitoek, has asked the Lands ministry to help find a solution to the dispute.

“It is worrying that brokers have been reallocating parcels of lands that they sell to willing buyers. The ministry should help solve this to avoid more disputes,” said Mr Tuitoek.

Area Nyumba Kumi Initiative chairman Reuben Kiprotich said at least 100 families have land disputes in the area, and more than 500 are squatters. Hundreds of families have been evicted by brokers.

County National Lands Commissioner (NLC) Frank Kimbelekenya said after issuance of allotment letters by ADC, the allocatees were required to pay lands levy and rates within 90 days as stipulated by law to the settlement department.

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