- The Kericho senator argues that the British government forcefully took away Kipsigis' ancestral land.
- The eviction was meant to give British soldiers in the name of British East African Disabled Officers Colony (BEADOC) space.
Kipsigis Community is demanding compensation and an apology from the British government for the damage caused by the forceful eviction and the use of their land.
In a petition to the Senate by the Majority leader Aaron Cheruiyot, the community wants Senate to direct the necessary institutions and bodies to remove all the land laws and regulations put in place by the colonial administration.
“The petitioner prays that the Senate assist in ensuring that the Kipsigis community ancestral lands go back to the rightful owners, of the soil free of charge,” the petition reads.
The Kericho senator argues that the British government forcefully took away Kipsigis' ancestral land during the pre-colonial period.
When Kenya became a British protectorate in 1895, they submitted, the British made land laws and regulations that benefitted them and discriminated against indigenous African communities including Kipsigis.
The laws include the Crown Land Ordinance 1902, the Removal of Natives Ordinance of 1909 and the Crown Land Ordinance 1915 which effectively evicted and displaced the Kipsigis Community from their land.
“There was no compensation to the Kipsigis community for the land taken for settlement by the British and dubbed as Crown Land.”
“Instead the Kipsigis People became squatters and forced to provide cheap labour to the British settlers,” Cheruiyot says in his petition.
Cheruiyot held that the British forcefully evicted the Kipsigis community from their ancestral land around Kericho, Kerenga, Tagabi estates, and the whole of African Highlands.
The eviction was meant to give British soldiers in the name of British East African Disabled Officers Colony (BEADOC) space.
In 2014, a petition was submitted to Kericho County as Kipsigis Community Clans Organization, Kipsigis Talai Clan and Borowo and Kipsigis Self Help Group.
Cheruiyot further argues that Kericho County hired lawyers to sue the British government for the colonial injustices caused to the Kipsigis community which they have been following up to date but the case is yet to be filed.
The Kipsigis community also lodged their claims with the National Land Commission in 2017, however, disagreements arose on some of the recommendations as there was no consultation between the commission and the community.
“None of the issues raised in this petition are pending before any court of law constitutional or any other legal body. Consequently, the petitioner prays that the Senate to resolve the disagreed recommendations between the Kipsigis and the National Land Commission.”
“The Senate should resettle the landless Kipsigis people or compensates them to look for land elsewhere and take any other measures that the Senate may deem appropriate,” the petition reads in part.
Cheruiyot in his petition also wants Senate to direct the establishment of a three-level management system in the farms consisting of the Kipsigis community board of directors, management trustees and current management to ensure no corruption in the system.
“The British government should apologize and pay the necessary reparations for all the atrocities committed against the Kipsigis community.”