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December 10, 2018

Mombasa stops work on disputed land

Mombasa county secretary Francis Thoya consoles wailing women squatters at Nguu Tatu on Sunday, July 22, 2018 / BRIAN OTIENO
Mombasa county secretary Francis Thoya consoles wailing women squatters at Nguu Tatu on Sunday, July 22, 2018 / BRIAN OTIENO

The Mombasa government has stopped development of all disputed land.

County secretary Francis Thoya and Land executive Edward Nyale issued the order on Sunday after visiting squatters at the disputed Hussein Dairy Farm in Nguu Tatu, Kisauni constituency.

Those claiming ownership of disputed land have been told to present their ownership documents to the county for verification.

Disputed land includes parcels at Nguu Tatu, Lamkani, Junda, Kashani, Kwa Bulo and Barawa.

About 300 squatters at the 314-acre Hussein farm spent three nights in the cold after their houses were demolished on Thursday and Friday.

Three schools, two churches and a mosque have also been demolished.

Squatters said their children have been at home for three months following the demolition of the three schools in three months.

The ownership of Nguu Tatu land has been disputed for a decade, with squatters and tycoons saying they own it.

Thoya and Nyale said tycoons and senior government officials are “colluding with the National Land Commission to grab parcels at the Coast”.

They said this is not the case in other parts of the country and accused the NLC of being biased against Coast residents.

“It is unfortunate the NLC is working with the tycoons. They are silent on such evictions because they are working with them,” the county secretary said.

consultation

Nyale said the county is working towards a permanent solution to the eviction of squatters without provision of alternative land.

He said the counties are the custodian of land on behalf of residents and must be consulted before any order is issued. “No one can do anything on land without consulting us. From today, no one is allowed to transact in or develop any land that has disputes until we reach a solution,” the Lands executive said.

He accused the NLC of holding secret meetings in Mombasa without involving the county government.

“We have talked for long. Now it is time for action,” Nyale said.

He said some orders being issued were questionable.

Thoya ordered squatters at the Hussein Dairy farm to stay put.

“You have done no wrong to deserve this barbaric treatment,” he said.

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