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DISPUTED 1,200 ACRES

KBC land in Machakos belongs to residents, says Muthama

Former Machakos senator warns against settling those evicted from Nairobi on the parcel.

In Summary

• Victims of Ruai demolition say they were directed to move to the land in Matungulu, Machakos county.

• Muthama swore to ensure no one from Nairobi settles on the parcel.

Former Senator Jonhson Muthama has warned against settling Ruai evictees on the disputed KBC land in Machakos county. 

In a statement, he said the government should find alternative land for the squatters.

Some of the squatters evicted from the Nairobi Water and Sewerage Company land in Ruai have claimed they were told by senior government officials that they would be moved to the disputed 1,200 acres in Matungulu, Machakos.

 

The victims said Lands ministry officials told them to resettle on the land. Dozens of families from Ruai and Mathare 4A in Nairobi attempted to invade the parcel but were blocked.

In view of the goings-on, Muthama swore to ensure no one from Nairobi settles on the parcel. He said the land belongs to the people of Machakos, not the government. He said the land has an active case in court. Both Komarock Housing Society and Kenya Broadcasting Corporation have staked a claim for the land.

"I want to tell the national government and the county government of Machakos that this land belongs to Machakos residents and nobody will be allowed to settle here from outside Machakos," he said.

"Let those responsible for the evictions find another place for those people. Let them not dream that they can get an inch of this land to compensate them."

A similar sentiment was shared by former Kibwezi MP Kalembe Ndile, who said Kenyans are grappling with Covid-19 and floods and the evictions only expose more families to hopelessness and helplessness.

"Residents of Kariobangi and Ruai are suffering. They have no food, water and even sanitiser, yet the state has demolished their houses," Kalembe said.

He said that the demolition of structures caused an uproar from legislators, especially from the Senate, terming it inhumane at a time when the country is battling the spread of the coronavirus.

 

“The demolition took place under the cover of darkness, leaving many of the families with no alternative places to go,” Kalembe said.

On Monday, Komarock Housing Society vowed to evict any person or group of people attempting to move into their property.

“We've been fighting for this land in the courts for a couple of years and we will not allow individuals or groups of people to hijack an ongoing legal process through forgery or fraud,” said Bernard Maembe, the society’s chairman.

Maembe said the government would engage in an outright breach of law should it resettle people on disputed land.

Last year, the High Court in Machakos ordered KBC and Komarock Housing Society to move out of the land until the case is concluded.

 

(Edited  by F'Orieny)