Granny collapses while telling press of land row, dies

Feared that a private developer who had evicted her from the land was after her life

In Summary

• Sukani Bajila, 85 was pronounced dead on arrival at the Kilifi county hospital emergency wing where she was rushed after she collapsed.

• Bajila expressed fears that a private developer who had evicted her from the land was after her life.

Sukani Bajila shortly before she collapsed and died on Thursday, September 10
LAND DISPUTE Sukani Bajila shortly before she collapsed and died on Thursday, September 10
Image: ELIAS YAA

An elderly woman collapsed and died on Thursday evening while telling journalists about a land dispute with a private developer

Sukani Bajila, 85 was pronounced dead on arrival at the Kilifi county hospital emergency wing where she was rushed after she collapsed.  

Bajila inherited a 12-acre parcel of land at Majivuni village in Mtondia from her husband who died several years ago. But her stepson sold all of it. 

She feared that a private developer who had evicted her from the land was after her life. Below are some of her last words. 

“This land was left to me by my husband. My husband had three wives and I was the second wife.

“My two co-wives died and I was left to take care of the children left by the third wife.

“Trouble started in 2004 when my stepson [Jumaa Bajila] started selling portions of the land. He continued with the trend until 2018 when he was murdered by angry villages after selling some parcels more than two times.

“Jumaa first sold six acres of land and people settled there. He again sold the remaining six acres to different people. In 2018, he resold the first six acres people had already bought and settled.

“As a result houses were demolished and people got angry and lynched him. Last Sunday another person came here and said he had bought the other six acres and asked people to demolish their houses. Some of the people came to me and asked for their money. Where do I take these people to? I have no place to settle. I have been hosted by neighbours.”

Daily Nation journalist Maureen Ongala (with handbag) helps Majivuni residents to offer first aid to Sukani Bajila after she collapsed during an interview on Thursday, September 10
NO MORE: Daily Nation journalist Maureen Ongala (with handbag) helps Majivuni residents to offer first aid to Sukani Bajila after she collapsed during an interview on Thursday, September 10
Image: ELIAS YAA

Bajila's nephew Samson Safari said her aunt developed high blood pressure after the murder of her stepson.

“Bajila raised Jumaa from a very tender age. When Jumaa started disobeying her she felt bitter and from that time she has been unwell. We have spent the whole day today in the office of the person who bought this land and no solution was arrived at. We are tired of these injustices,” Safari said. 

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya asked the police to investigate the matter and take action against those who bought the land for the second time.

 

“This person demolished houses without a court order and he should be prosecuted for malicious damage and trespassing,” Baya said. 

John Chengo, a resident in the disputed piece of land said a man in a black car arrived there and started erecting concrete fence posts.

“He asked us to demolish our houses and leave before a bulldozer comes to flatten the area. We got scared and started demolishing despite having bought this land in 1999,” Chengo said. 

There are 36 families living within the disputed area. A church is among the building that were demolished.

Esther Katana, another resident said she found her belongings scattered everywhere after her house was demolished.

“I currently have no place to live. I go from house to house looking for shelter,” she said.