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Millions destroyed as KWS demolish curios in Malindi

14 June 2012, 16:57 Alloys Musyoka

Millions of shillings were destroyed at Watamu in Malindi district when Kenya Wildlife Service demolished about 200 curio shops.

Curio sellers have accused the KWS officers for illegally evicting them and destroying their properties without notice to vacate a disputed land.

They said their curio shops were destroyed at night by Kenya Wildlife Services officers when they were not there.

According to their spokesman Muema Ngonde, they have been selling curios at the place for the last 26 years.

He said they got losses of millions shillings as their curios could not be traced any more after they were demolished.

“We have been here for many years how comes today someone wakes up at night and descend on our properties without even giving us notice,” he asked.

He said the government should intervene and solve the matter noting that they are Kenyans like any other Kenyans in the country who should be shielded by the new constitution.

Ngonde added that they wondered where KWS was all those years before they begun operating from the disputed land which KWS claimed belonged to them.

However Warden in charge of Watamu Marine and Reserve National Park Mr. Dickson Korir said the claimed land by the curio sellers belonged to KWS.

He said that curio sellers were operating illegal from the land and that they had been using it for the last one year and not 26 as they had claimed.

“That land belong to KWS and those people were using it illegal in fact we wanted to evict them last year October but they pleaded with us to allow them until the end of high tourist season but they refused to vacate,” said Korir.

Korir said if curio sellers were claiming that they had been using the land for the last 26 years then they should produce documents to prove ownership of the land instead of lying to public

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