TWO SUSPECTS ARRESTED

Joska residents decry increased attacks over land dispute

The former employees of the defunct Nairobi City Council say they bought land more than 27 years ago

In Summary

'The two will be charged with assault and malicious damage of property'

Peter Njuguna shows part of his body with bruises he allegedly sustained following an attack by goons during a meeting at Kariokor in Nairobi on Sunday, December 1, 2019
INJURED: Peter Njuguna shows part of his body with bruises he allegedly sustained following an attack by goons during a meeting at Kariokor in Nairobi on Sunday, December 1, 2019
Image: GEORGE OWITI
Water and Sewerage Welfare Association Chairman Vincent Ogillo addresses members during a meeting at Kariokor Social Hall in Nairobi on Sunday, December 1, 2019
IRKED: Water and Sewerage Welfare Association Chairman Vincent Ogillo addresses members during a meeting at Kariokor Social Hall in Nairobi on Sunday, December 1, 2019
Image: GEORGE OWITI

 

Residents of Joska in Mavoko have protested attacks which they say have been instigated by cartels keen on subdividing their land.

The residents who were employees of the defunct Nairobi City Council say the bought the land 27 years ago.

The Water and Sewerage Welfare Association (Waswa) members claimed cartels were using outlawed groups to attack residents and destroy their property in an attempt to force them out of the area.

The latest attack happened on Friday when residents were injured and some houses demolished.

Peter Njuguna, 27, said he was hit on the head, back and leg with crude weapons.

He said he was attacked as they erected a perimetre wall in phase six within the disputed land.

The more than 500 residents have protested to police following the attacks.

 

Matungulu police boss Joel Kirui said two people had been arrested in connection with the attacks.

The suspects are George Nyauma and Mustafa Azim.

"They were arrested for assaulting Ngugi and released on bail," Kirui said.

Kirui said Njuguna’s attack incident was reported to Joska police post under OB 13/29/11/2019.

“The two will be charged with assault and malicious damage of property,” Kurui told the Star on the phone on Monday.

Waswa chairman Vincent Ogillo said it was time the government resolved the estate's ownership once and for all.

Ogillo said that more than 3,000 members who own parcels on phases one to seven in the 280-acre land have been affected.

Some said they have never set foot on the land because of the goons that attack owners.

“The situation has made me suffer. I wanted to build a house for my eldest son but when I visited the land, I found a house belonging to a stranger on it already. I don’t know what to do,” Eunice Mukui, 57, said.

They addressed the press at Kariokor Social Hall in Nairobi on Sunday.

Ogillo claimed the invaders have been colluding with some former Waswa directors.

“They defraud genuine members of their parcels of land and sell them to third parties. Some have erected permanent structures on the land,” Ogillo said.

The members said they were allocated the land between 1994 and 1996 after they settled their payments.

Each member paid Sh1,000 for 46 months.

They were issued with allotment letters and certificates of payments. Some have since acquired title deeds.

Kirui admitted police had received several cases of criminal incidents on the land but denied knowledge of outlawed groups terrorising residents.

“It is about something on the land but as police, we handle part of criminality, not land dispute.”

He said most structures were demolished at night.

Athi River deputy county commissioner David Juma said that Waswa members were wrangling among themselves.

“Some of the members are subdividing the land and selling it out while others are opposed to that,” Juma said.

Juma said his office will hold a mediation meeting to resolve the matter.