Ownership row erupts over 5.2-ha Malindi beach plot
THERE was drama at Mayungu area in Malindi constituency when fishermen and a section of the locals evicted workers of an Italian investor putting up a perimeter wall at a prime beach plot which they are claiming ownership. The angry fishermen armed with stones and rungus cornered the casual workers and attacked them before ordering them out of the controversial 5.2 hectares beach plot number 427 which is in dispute.
Drama unfolded moments after government officials from the provincial administration, Fisheries ministry, Kenya Wildlife Service and local leaders marked the 60 metres from the high water mark which the investor Daniel Ricci gave to the locals for fish landing and boat repair yard. Representatives of the investor, who has a title deed for the prime land, brought in workers to set up a boundary perimeter wall for the investor to start a multi-million hotels and a fish-processing plant.
During the chaos some workers were injured while a vehicle that had been parked by the workers was almost burnt. “We do not want a fence here because it will block access to our landing site. No one is going to be allowed to set up a fence,’’ said one of the youth at the site. Malindi DC Joshua Nkanatha confirmed that there were chaos at the site and promised to issue a statement after getting a full report from his officers. “It is true there were chaos in Mayungu at the controversial land. Officers have been dispatched to the ground before I issue a statement over the matter,’’ he said.
The investor through his lawyer Ahmed Mohamed Kilelo said he is the legal owner of the plot and showed journalists a title deed number Chembe Kibabamche 427 given at the Kilifi District Land Registrar's office on March 1, 2001 and signed by the land registrar. The lawyer said his client acquired the land legally in 2001 from Omar Khamis and followed all legal procedures but it had been difficult to construct a perimeter wall for the boundary because of the fishermen and some locals. Speaking to journalists in Malindi, he said Ricci had agreed to set aside space for the Fishing landing site and an access road to the beach and wondered why the locals became chaotic and attacked the workers on site.