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Igembe residents protest against Land grabbing

18 April 2012, 12:12 Anthony Muruiki

Residents of Kianda area in Kigoru location in Igembe South district have protested against the alleged grabbing of their ancestral land by a cross-section of prominent individuals and petitioned the government to urgently intervene and ensure it recovers the same to enable them to develop their plots especially during this rainy season.

Speaking at Kanuni divisional headquarters the protesters who are from Antuamburi and Uringu clans said they were forcibly evicted from their ancestral land in September last year and accused the government of turning a deaf ear over the issue despite the several complainants they have raised concerning the illegal intrusion.

Led by Mr Salesio Gikundi and John Kaberia they said the genuine land owners are frequently intimidated once they raise the alarm noting strangers who claim to have bought land from the clan members have already initiated developing projects in the controversial land before even seeking an amicable solution to the problem.

“About 500 people from Antuamburi and Uringu clans will be rendered homeless and also loose millions of shillings following the illegal evictions. We urge the government and other stakeholders to intervene and ensure they resolve the issue amicably since we have no other land to settle”, said Kaberia.

He said the intruders including lawyer Kirimi Mbogo among others claims they bought the land from the genuine owners and urged the government to investigate.

The two said each clan member was given his own plot number after the land was demarcated in 1998 and 1999 noting that some of the people who have sold the land do not belong to the 2 clans.

But in a quick rejoinder Igembe South DC Mr David Kipkemei denied the allegations and advised the protesters to use the right channels to resolve their differences instead of politicizing the issue for their own personal and selfish gains.

“Those protesting are the same people who sold their land at a throw away price and they now want to use this office to achieve their own selfish and political needs. Every clan member has the right to sell his land to enable him solve any financial problems he has without any under interference or influence”, said Kipkemei.

He said the land in the area is still under the adjudication process and urged the aggrieved parties to register their disputes with the land arbitration committee and the land officials and desist from politicizing the issue.

“Those claiming that there is insecurity in the area want to just attract attention and sympathy after selling their land. Am optimistic the issue which has been given priority will be sorted out in good time to ensure everybody is fully satisfied,” said the DC.

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