Squatters want Kindiki to probe police over seized property

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Families who were evicted from a disputed land in Uasin Gishu have written to Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki seeking return of their property seized during their eviction last month.

In the letter sent through their lawyer William Arusei, the squatters told the CS that more than 300 police officers seized a tractor, trailer, six motorcycles, 12 cows, 300 iron sheets, two bicycles and two power saws, among other items, during the 10pm eviction on November 25.

According to the squatters, the seized property was valued at Sh4 million.

They asked the Interior CS to probe Rift Valley police officers who oversaw their eviction from sections of the 25,000-acre land in the Kapseret area.

Sirikwa Squatters Group had occupied sections of the disputed land after winning a fierce ownership battle for the land at the Court of Appeal on November 18 but members were ejected after Fanikiwa Limited moved to the Supreme Court four days later to challenge the Court of Appeal’s judgement.

“We are finally instructed that our clients will shortly lodge a petition before the National Assembly of Kenya and the International Criminal Court so that the matter of police brutality, destruction of private property, eviction of the population at night, among other litanies of grievances, to be deeply ventilated and interrogated,” the letter reads.

The squatters further seek Prof Kindiki’s intervention in stopping the security apparatus from engaging in what they described as selective justice.

“The same police who are mandated and/or supposed to protect life and property are the very same ones destroying property and threatening the lives of the squatters,” they told the Interior CS.

Sirikwa Squatters chairman Benjamin Ronoh said the seized property should be returned in good condition.

He said the squatters have kept off the land since November 25 after they were forced out by police officers drawn from Uasin Gishu and Nakuru.

“We have given the police one week to return our property, failure to which we are going to sue them for damages. The police should have sought an eviction order before evicting anyone from the land,” Mr Ronoh said.

Uasin Gishu police commander Ayub Gitonga confirmed he was aware of the complaints but did not give details.

By Agencies Jan. 27, 2023
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