Relocated Vihiga residents demand land title deeds

Wednesday, October 4th, 2023 02:00 | By
Vihiga county headquarters. PHOTO/Print

More than 500 families displaced from their ancestral land in Mbale and settled in Kaimosi forest to pave way for the construction of national government administrative offices in Vihiga County have given the government a 14-day ultimatum to issue them with title deeds for the alternative or they reclaim their original parcels.

Led by their spokesman Fredrick Igunza, the families said they were moved from the land in Mbale, Kegoye in 1985 and relocated to a 40-acre piece of land at Musinji-Shaviringa settlement scheme which is in a forest reserve under the Kenya Forest Service (KFS).

Nearly three decades later, however, they are yet to be issued with title deeds as per the agreement.

The families now say the fear they could be evicted from the Kaimosi land because they do not have ownership documents.


“We have given the national government and the county government of Vihiga an ultimatum of 14 days to issue us with title deeds or we go back to our original land. When the 14 days expire you will see us back on our land,” said Igunza.

Igunza said they had been petitioning the National Land Commission (NLC) and the county government of Vihiga to award them compensation and title deeds to no avail.

Igunza said that following a directive by then President Uhuru Kenyatta, a technical committee was formed in 2015 to spearhead the process of degazetting the forest reserve and settling the affected families but it has since ceased operations for lack of funds.

 “In 1985, 500 families were moved from areas covering Mbale and Kegoye to pave way for the construction of the Vihiga County headquarters and other government facilities. All these families were moved to Kibiri forest in Hamisi sub-county which previously formed part of Kakamega forest reserve. Each family was promised twice the land they occupied,” Igunza explained.

More on News