Residents of Jumba Ruins in Mtwapa, Mombasa county held protests on Thursday over the alleged grabbing of a 127-acre land they claim to own.
The piece of land was once used for Agricultural research by the government, through the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute.
"But after they left, some tycoons took the land, subdivided and sold it to influential buyers," George Masha, chairman of the residents, said.
He said they have been occupying the land for over 40 years adding that the interest in the property started growing in the 1970s.
The occupants showed journalists graves of their forefathers.
Their coordinator, Fuad Said, said there are about 1,570 people living on the said parcel. Some 400 others were displaced to other areas.
He said they have gone to court to challenge the private developers to produce ownership documents.
"If the documents they have are genuine and proven in court, we will leave," Fuad said.
"When the researchers left, our fathers who were living there at the time were pushed to a 4-acre piece of land."
Police watched from a distance as the residents protested. The armed officers were at the scene for some ten minutes.