• More than 600 families will be moved to Kidimu after the government said it owns the over 6,000 acres.
• Lands CAS Gideon Mung’aro has promised to check into the matter, saying there is no way the government can issue fake title deeds.
At least 10,000 residents of Kanana in Kwale will be relocated to pave way for cane farming by the Kwale International Sugar Company Limited.
The more than 600 families will be moved to Kidimu after the government said it owns the over 6,000 acres.
However, residents have protested the move, saying they legally own the land, and they were issued with allotment letters during President Mwai Kibaki’s regime awaiting title deeds. They said they will not leave as they have lived in the area for many years.
“It’s the same government that gave us these letters during the campaign, and we have also confirmed with the Lands office that our title deeds are there, but we cannot pick them because the documents we have are fake,” resident Ginora Kinyasi said.
She questioned the decision by the government and how the land is under the sugar farm.
Kinyasi also said the government did not tell them why the documents they possess are "fake".
“What is the difference between Kibaki’s government and the current leadership? The same office issued us with these documents and now renders them fake, is this a scam to steal our ancestral land? Kinyasi asked.
Residents also said they have received threats and intimidation from Kidimu residents, where they are to be relocated.
“Let them come with caterpillars and firearms. We are not afraid because we are ready to die for our ancestral land,” Mbeyu Dzombo said.
Lunga Lunga deputy commissioner Josphat Biwott said according to the lease issued to KISCOL, the government granted the company 15,000 acres, but they occupy only 8,000 acres. The remaining 7,000 acres, which includes Kanana, also belong to KISCOL.
Muslim for Human Rights organisation has vowed to stand with the people to ensure justice is served.
Abdulrahaman Mwangoka, in charge of the programme in Kwale county, told the Star if all the mediation avenues fail, they will have to involve the law to resolve the tussle.
Lands CAS Gideon Mung’aro has promised to check into the matter, saying there is no way the government can issue fake title deeds.
“The government does genuine work. We need to investigate the issue and find out what the problem is,” he said.