Residents protest over land ownership

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By JOSEPH OPENDA
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Residents of Nakuru took to the streets to protest the ownership of a piece of land in Mwariki.

Police dispersed the more than 100 residents of Mutegi Estate who had blocked the Nakuru-Kiambogo road using stones.

They claimed that a man only identified as Kimani claims to own the land they have lived on for more than 20 years.

Magdalene Waithera said they acquired the property through a project, “Makao”, run by the Catholic diocese of Nakuru in 1996.

“We are currently living in fear because he has threatened to demolish our houses any time from now. We bought the pieces of land and we are not able to understand why someone can come from nowhere claiming to be the owner,” she said.

Another resident, Sarah Wambui, said there is lack of good will from the county’ lands office following failed requests to meet him to resolve the matter.

“We cannot figure out why the lands official is reluctant to handle this matter. Every time we ask them to visit our area we are asked to fuel the vehicle.

“We have done that several times but they still failed to show up,” Ms Waithera said.

The residents have now threatened to take action into their own hands.

Chief Patrick Chege said he has not met the said land owner though he has heard of him.

Mr Chege added that the residents need to form a committee that will handle the problem and if possible file a case in court.

“We have not seen the man purporting to be the land owner but we hear he has a case in court over the land, which even the residents have no knowledge of,” he said.

He, however, said the matter is still under investigation.

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