DECADES-LONG FIGHT

Elders ask Uhuru to help solve land disputes in Mbeere South

Some of the original landowners have died as cases dragged in court for decades.

In Summary

• Chairman Andrew Ireri said failure to solve the disputes has caused ugly fights among the disputing parties leading to injuries, displacements and even deaths.

• He was accompanied by his deputy Linus Kinyua and secretary Patrick Kamweg

Nyangi Ndiiriri council of elders chairman Andrew Ireri speaks to journalists in Runyenjes Town
Nyangi Ndiiriri council of elders chairman Andrew Ireri speaks to journalists in Runyenjes Town
Image: Reuben Githinji

The Nyangi Ndiiriri council of elders has asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene in land adjudication disputes in Mbeere South subcounty.

The elders said several people lay claims to parcels of land in Wachoro, Riakanau, Makima and Karaba sections covering 72,000 acres.  

Chairman Andrew Ireri said failure to solve the disputes has caused ugly fights among the disputing parties leading to injuries, displacements and even deaths. He was accompanied by his deputy Linus Kinyua and secretary Patrick Kamwega. 

Ireri said some of the original landowners have died as cases dragged in court for decades. Their children are now pursuing the cases.

Speaking at Runyenjes Town when he met some of the aggrieved landowners, Ireri said most of the pieces of land are occupied by several people.

He said the disputing parties live in tension and occasional fights. Many others with allotment letters were ejected out of the land by rivals. People who had not paid for the land have taken advantage of the situation and occupied some parcels. 

Ireri said despite several commissions of enquiry, past governments have been unable to solve the disputes.  

He said politicians use the situation every electioneering year to divide the residents without providing a permanent solution. 

The council of elders said the disputes have contributed to a poor business environment as residents cannot borrow loans from banks for lack of title deeds.

The council said it has written to Uhuru to intervene in the dispute before his final term ends.

Mbeere South deputy county commissioner Charles Ingiha told the Star the government processed title deeds for the farms but could not issue them owing to pending cases in court.

“The title deeds are there but can only be issued out to individual owners after the cases which were filed are withdrawn or they are determined,” he said. 

He said most of the cases have been pending for many years and advised parties to solve their dispute out of court and withdraw them.