• Locals claim that the land belongs to the community and not the prison.
• The officer in charge of Kisumu Medium Prison said plans are underway for its development.
The Kenya Prisons Service plans to evict more than 5,000 residents of Nyalenda, Kisumu, to reclaim 64 acres.
In a letter dated September 1 and addressed to the county commissioner, the department told residents to vacate government land Block No 10/102. Residents have, however, protested saying the area is community land and not the prisons'.
The officer in charge of Kisumu Medium Prison, Edward K Schei, said in the letter that the land situated in Nyalenda is prison land and plans are underway for its development.
“The purpose of this letter is to inform your office that the three months notice issued to the people squatting in the parcel of land to vacate elapsed on October 2018. Your office will be instrumental in the facilitation of this exercise,” Scheisaid.
The letter was copied to the commissioner general of prisons and the Nyanza regional prisons commander.
However, residents of Nyalenda and Pand Pieri area have opposed the move and through Amondi and Co advocates, they have written to the National Land Commission (NLC) in a letter dated September 9 saying that is their ancestral land and any move to evict them would be an injustice.
The residents claimed that they are the right owners of Nyalenda and Pand Pieri areas, parcels they say were demarcated during land adjudication before the same were unilaterally and illegally cancelled by the district commissioner to create the GK Prison farm measuring about 64 acres.
Their advocate, Kenneth Amondi, noted that the alleged cancellation of the adjudication register was done without an objection determined by an adjudication office. He added that the actions by the DC led to closure of the register, hence denying the residents an opportunity to get title deeds.
“There was also no Gazette notice for acquisition of these parcels of land as well as a notification to the residents to secure their consent to the entry into the land by the prisons to carry out a survey in May 2017,” Amondi stated.
He added that they had also not seen the Gazette notice for inquiry of the affected people before compensation was done to the families. The locals claim the map used for surveying the plots was questionable as the alleged plot Block 10/102 does not exist on the map used.
Amondi said the unilateral decision has created confusion in that families are now scattered. The residents also asked the NLC to state its true position on the controversial parcel, saying the Prisons Service has already started clearing bushes to utilise it for farming.