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Squatters given 14 days to vacate land in Ziwa

By Lynn Kolongei | December 3rd 2020

Over 200 families living on a 606-acre parcel in Ziwa, Uasin Gishu County, have 14 days to vacate the land or face forceful eviction.

On Monday, there was tension at the farm as families watched pensively while surveyors demarcated the land

The residents held protests, barricading the Eldoret-Kitale road for hours. They argued that they had lived on the land for decades.

About 5,000 people are said to be affected by the eviction, including Uasin Gishu County Assembly Speaker David Kiplagat.

The land dispute was first presented in court in 1993 by Kachero ole Makala who sued George Kipteng (both now deceased) over the boundaries of the land.

David Soit, Makala’s son, said 606 of the 909 acres rightfully belonged to his father and that it was time to claim the land that was unlawfully invaded by the locals.

“The court made its ruling, and we are not going back. The case has been in court for decades and time is ripe to have what is mine,” said Soit.

After years in court, it was directed that the dispute be resolved by the Uasin Gishu Land Dispute Tribunal, Kapseret Division.

In 2005, the tribunal reached a decision and presented its verdict to the court. It had ruled that the land be subdivided into two, with Makala getting 606 acres while Sigilai group would get 303 acres.

The tribunal’s award was adopted by the Eldoret Chief Magistrate’s court in 2012.

On January 29 this year, Eldoret High Court Deputy Registrar directed officers from Moi's Bridge Police Station to provide security to surveyors in executing a court order for the survey and subdivision of the land.

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However, Kiplagat vowed they would not move. “The land we live in was subdivided in 1990 and currently, genuine title deeds have been issued to around 250 families," said the Speaker.

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