CONTROVERSIAL ALLOCATION, SALE

Report on disputed Ng'ati land in Naivasha ready

Document contains recommendations that will help end feuds over ownership.

In Summary

• The committee appointed by Governor Lee Kinyanjui to look into the ownership wrangles of the more than 16,000 acres will hand over its report and recommendations.

• Part of the land was sold to Kengen for geothermal exploration but some farmers said they were left in the dark on how much was paid.

A police officer inspects the ruins left after seven houses were burnt during violence in Maella, Naivasha, on February 9.
A police officer inspects the ruins left after seven houses were burnt during violence in Maella, Naivasha, on February 9.
Image: George Murage

Residents of Maella in Naivasha have a reason to smile after an ad hoc committee appointed to look into the ownership of the disputed Ng’ati land completed its work.

The committee appointed by Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui to look into the ownership wrangles of the more than 16,000 acres will now hand over its report and recommendations.

Residents had demanded fresh allocation. Some parts were sold to Kenya Electricity Generating Company, but farmers say they were left in the dark on how much was paid. Former officials of the land buying company have since fled the area

In a circular sent by the county, the handover ceremony will take place during a public forum in Maella area, which is located on the southern part of Lake Naivasha. The report will help resolve the decades-old feuds that have seen property destroyed and lives lost, with many, among them the old, left to suffer.

Maella area is regarded as the food basket of Naivasha and Nakuru towns but has been faced by violence due to land conflicts. Many families have since relocated. The issue has been in court for years and while rulings were made in several instances, residents kept quarrelling and complaining about the manner in which allocation was made.

Maella MCA Gathariki Kamanu welcomed the release of the report saying it would end the issues once and for all. He said residents have suffered for long in their pursuit of justice. He said they bought the land from white settlers with their hard-earned money.

"This will be a relief for all of us. We'll finally have a solution to the problem of Ng’ati land ownership that has been a thorn in the flesh for many," he said.

Another resident James Kinyanjuisaid, "Many felt that the officials allocated themselves prime areas leaving peasants with hilly areas that were not suitable for farming, hence the onset of violence." 

A member of the committee who sought anonymity said the report has far-reaching recommendations that will sort out the mess. The member said it also covers the controversial sale of part of the land to the Kenya Electricity Generating Company (Kengen).

"We've come up with solutions and the way forward for residents and we hope this will close the curtain on the problems faced by shareholders of this land."