Group takes over land after 25-year legal battle

 Mwana Mwireri land company won court cases against a splinter group. [iStockphoto]

Members of Mwana Mwireri land company in Ndabibi Naivasha have moved to reclaim their land after years of infighting and court cases.

Backed by legal documents, the members, through their officials, attributed their woes to a splinter group that invaded the land and displaced them.

For years, a splinter group led by some local leaders has been collecting cash from unsuspecting members of the public with the promise of allocating them sections of the prime land.

But speaking at the farm, the bona fide members of the company said they legally bought the 343 hectares (823 acres) of land from the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) in 1998 and settled all the dues.

Patrick Kimani, one of the officials, noted that out of the total 2,500 members of the company, only 157 managed to buy the land from the government agency.

He said that they managed to get allotment letters, and some started farming before some leaders started inciting residents, leading to invasion of their land and eviction.

“There are some elected leaders who are inciting members of the public about this land, and we are asking the government to deal with them as per the law,” he said.

Kimani said they won all the court cases against the splinter group, which did not have any ownership documents as they were alleging.

Reverend Willie Ndung’u, blamed the stand of and tension in the area on incitement and a group that was hoodwinking the public.

He said they won all the court cases and government surveyors visited the land and established the boundaries as the rightful owners moved in.

“We are warning members of the public to be wary of some con men who are illegally selling part of this land at Sh15,000 per share,” he said.

David Nderitu narrated how he was forcefully evicted from his farm in 2017 and reduced to a tenant despite paying for the land and getting ownership documents.

“Those involved burnt my house and killed my livestock, and we are calling on the government to intervene so that we can reclaim our land,” he said.

Another member, Hellen Nyambura, said that they were ready to start farming or leasing the land despite threats and intimidation from the splinter group.

Speaking earlier, Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Mutua Kisilu warned that anyone invading private land in the area would face the law.

“We are putting on notice some leaders who are inciting members of the public over this private land, yet they do not have any ownership document,” he said.