- They have sued Kedong Ranch Ltd, Kenya Railways Corporation, National Land Commission and Attorney General
- The ranch has given notice to the local community to vacate the land
Over 30,000 Maasais from Kedong Ranch in Naivasha on Friday moved to court to block their eviction.
Seventeen members of the community sued the state on behalf of their people seeking a declaration their occupation of the disputed land is lawful.
They want the court to find that the land belongs to the Maasai community living there.
They have sued Kedong Ranch Ltd, Kenya Railways Corporation, National Land Commission and the Attorney General.
“Article 28 of the Constitution provides that every person has inherent dignity and the right to have that dignity respected and protected. The petitioners are entitled to dignity as protected by the Constitution and all acts that violate this dignity stand in violation of the Constitution,” the petition reads.
They are apprehensive that further government projects on the suit land as well as the exercise of property rights by Kedong Ranch will undermine their rights.
They say the Maasai community will continue to face imminent threats of eviction, reduction and loss of grazing land and possible loss of ancestral land.
Through lawyer Thomas Letangule, the petitioners say the ranch has given notice to the local community to vacate the land and this could render them destitute.
“The ranch has already subdivided the land parcel and transferred to KenGen company and as a result the petitioners were evicted from the land,” the petition reads.
The KRC has already constructed the standard gauge railway through the land thereby occasioning eviction of the Maasai community from their ancestral land.
During construction of the SGR, the National Land Commission compensated some of the residents living on the land.
The petitioners claim recently the government earmarked the land for development of the proposed Naivasha Dry Port without compensating the affected community.
“The government must adequately compensate the inhabitants of the land, taking into consideration their interests and their rights,” they argue.
They say they have made significant development on the land including building churches and schools and the state has also constructed a police post.
“The state has been sidelining and continues to neglect the local community whose ancestral land is subject to compulsory acquisition without being compensated,” they claim.
Raphael Kerenke, on behalf of the community, argues that historically the Maasai community have resided in the land and the parcel has always been home to 30,000 families.