The Kiambu government’s six surveyors and five workers yesterday were charged with malicious destruction of property.
The 11 officials also faced a charge of trespassing on private land.
They are Ruth Nduta, Ladona Kulei, David Kariuki, Robert Muturi, Henry Karanja, Joshua Munene, Vincent Kipchisir, Gabriel Acholla, Yusuf Isaac, Kennedy Gikere and Antony Mbai.
They appeared before Limuru senior resident magistrate Sandra Ogot. They denied the charges and were each released on Sh100,000 bond or Sh60,000 bail.
The officials were accused of cutting down 50 eucalyptus and 250 cyprus trees at Kinyua Gitonga’s farm in Kamaevillage, Lari subcounty, on January 16.
They faced another charge of destroying a fence, posts and barbed wire. The suspects’ lawyer urged free bond or reasonable bond terms.
He said they are civil servants who cannot abscond. The lawyer also asked his clients be supplied with copies of the charge sheet, witness statements and another prosecution exhibit.
State counsel Jane Abene objected to the bond application, but the magistrate said the terms set were favourable.
Some residents have sued the Kiambu government for invading their land and claiming it was public property.
Businessman Robert Njoroge is among those suing the county. His land in Gathwariga village in Kinale was levelled by the county government to construct a public market.
Njoroge, who appeared in court yesterday, declined to comment, saying his case with the government was still in court.
“I cannot comment on anything. It is prejudicial. My case is still going on,” he said.
Last Sunday, a family said they were planning to sue the government for declaring five acres they bought in 1992 as land public.
Esther Wangui said said the land was bought by her son Peter Ngige in a clean deal and was issued a title deed by the Ministry of Lands.