CRY FOR JUSTICE

Embu man lives in squalor after family land grabbed

Ezekiel Njiru and his only son stay in a doorless house at Gachoka Market

In Summary

• He has beeb living in a sorry state for two decades after two men forged documents and sold their land. 

• His wife jilted him because of his tribulations. 

Ezekiel Njiru Momanyi Gichuki's advocate in Embu Town yesterday
Land grabbing pushes Embu man into squalor, Ezekiel Njiru Momanyi Gichuki's advocate in Embu Town yesterday
Image: Reuben Githinji

An elderly Mbeere-South man has been living in squalor for two decades after two men forged documents and took land he inherited from his parents. 

Ezekiel Njiru and his only son stay in a doorless house at Gachoka Market given to them by a Good Samaritan. Njiru's father Kithumbu wa Rarigu's land was allegedly grabbed in the 1970s. 

Looking pale and hungry, the barefooted 65-year-old said he was at work when his father died. Njiru spoke to the Star in Embu town.

Njiru said he lost the land because he was working far away from home. He was a casual worker at Bamburi Cement Company Ltd in Mombasa. NJiru said transport home and communication were not easy.   

When he got news about his father's death, Njiru travelled by train then tok a bus.   When he arrived at home he found his father already buried by his younger siblings.  

Njiru said the grabbers exploited the family's ignorance and sold 5.6 acres after colluding with some land officers in Embu. The land was sub-divided and sold, he said. Njiru said about 50 people live on the land. 

He said one of the sellers was from Kirinyaga and vanished after pocketing the loot, but his accomplice still lives in Embu. Njiru said he goes about his business  unperturbed as he (Njiru) languishes in poverty.

Njiru said he has three siblings who all passed away. 

“My siblings and I tried to file a succession case after our father died in order to inherit the land. Unfortunately, we discovered the land jad been grabbed and sub-divided into several pieces. We tried in vain to get back the land. After my siblings died, the land dispute has turned into a nightmare,” Njiru said. 

He left the land after feeling that his life was in danger. Njiru said said that the people who bought the land threatened him and he escaped. He now survives with help from well-wishers since he cannot do anything owin gto his age and a broken leg. 

The emotional Njiru said his wife jilted him due to dis tribulations. She moved out to live with another man and he does not know where she is. He said his son is a school dropout who does odd jobs. 

Njiru appealed to the relevant authorities including the President, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the lands office to intervene on his behalf to get back the family’s land.

Embu lawyer Momanyi Gichuki has taken up the matter and has promised to file a civil suit on his behalf free of charge.