COAST LAND CORRUPTION

Haji moved to tears by Kilifi land ordeals, pledges justice

Woman says developer wants their land, husband killed, brothers-in-law disappeared

In Summary

•DPP Haji opened the Kilifi Social Justice Centre in a county where land injustices are among leading causes of human rights violations — killings, maimings and enforced disappearances.

• He sought to encourage victims, saying he will do whatever it takes to ensure they get justice and that land injustices are ended for good at and the Cost.

 

DPP Noordin Haji and Haki Africa director Yusuf Abubakar at the launch of the Kilifi Social Justice Centre in Mtwapa on Monday.
MOVED TO TEARS: DPP Noordin Haji and Haki Africa director Yusuf Abubakar at the launch of the Kilifi Social Justice Centre in Mtwapa on Monday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

                          

DPP Noordin Haji was moved to near tears on Monday by the harrowing tales of oppression, betrayal, brutality and death as victims of land injustices in Kilifi poured out their hearts.

The Director of Public Prosecutions was in Mtwapa to open the Kilifi Social Justice Centre in a county where land injustices are among the leading causes of human rights violations — murders, maimings and forced disappearances.

 
 

He promised he would do 'whatever it takes' to ensure they get justice and that land injustices end at the Coast.

DPP Noordin Haji at the launch of the Kilifi Social Justice Centre in Mtwapa on Monday.
TOUCHED: DPP Noordin Haji at the launch of the Kilifi Social Justice Centre in Mtwapa on Monday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

“Don’t despair. Control your anger,” he told the victims who crowded to tell him their stories.

The DPP promised to personally follow up on a case where widow Beatrice Osinyo lost her husband Moses Charo Kombe, who was fighting for 200 acres belonging to their family.

Charo’s two brothers were abducted outside the Shanzu Law Courts on July 11 last year and have never been seen since.

“I have since been suffering with my five children,” Osinyo said.

She said her husband Moses died after living in the forest for months for fear of being killed by "tycoons" he said were after his family's land.

The abducted brothers, Said Juma, 25, and Samuel Riango, 30, were picked by men in plainclothes who claimed to be police officers.

“I want that file with me on Wednesday. And I hope there are statements from all those who have been mentioned whether they are big people in society or have influence.
DPP Noordin Haji
 

The brothers were leaving the Shanzu law courts after the hearing of a case in which a private developer claims ownership of 200 acres where the family has lived all their lives.

Juma’s wife, Catherine Wangeci, said she has not seen or heard from her husband since he left home on July 11 last year for the court case at Shanzu.

“I am now struggling with our three children. DPP, you have to help us get justice,” she pleaded.

The land in question is at Kikambala, Msumarini, in Kilifi county. Big names have arisen.

“I have been aggrieved by what I have heard,” Haji said.

“I want that file with me on Wednesday. And I hope there are statements from all those who have been mentioned whether they are big people in society or have influence,” Haji said. 

The DPP said he will on Friday deliver a report on the progress but not before issuing a stern warning to those handling the case.

“If the file is not there, be ready to give me concrete reasons why,” he said.

The forced disappearance of Juma and Riango is contained in a report titled 'The State of Human Rights at the Coast of Kenya 2019' released by Haki Africa last Thursday.

Haki Africa executive director Hussein Khalid said land injustices trigger killings at the Coast and must be checked.

“Kilifi county is most notorious in cases of land injustices followed by Kwale county,” Khalid said.

Haji said land is a "thorny issue" in Kenya and must be addressed immediately.

We are fighting hard against this monster called corruption...Some people don't want us to fight. They oppose us and bring all kinds of obstacles. Pray for us. 
DPP Noordin Haji

“If we can’t solve these land issues, we will bring problems to this country,” the DPP said.

He said Kilifi has a problem of land injustice, defilement and drugs.

He linked these with corruption, saying it is the single worst cause of all the ills in the country.

“That is why we are fighting hard against this monster called corruption,” the DPP said.

He called on Kenyans to pray for his office so that they can deliver justice, saying he and his staff has made a lot of enemies.

“Some people don’t want us to do that [fight corruption]. They oppose us and bring all kinds of obstacles. Pray for us,” Nordin Haji said.

(Edited by V. Graham)

DPP Noordin Haji at the launch of the Kilifi Social Justice Centre in Mtwapa on Monday.
DEEP IN THOUGHT: DPP Noordin Haji at the launch of the Kilifi Social Justice Centre in Mtwapa on Monday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI