Standoff over Thika’s public cemetery land
A standoff over a 50-acre piece of land that has over the years been used as a public cemetery at Gatitu, Thika Town, in Kiambu County has taken a new twist after local politicians vowed to protect sand sellers at the site.
While three private developers have laid claim to the land that touches the busy Thika-Garissa highway, the sand sellers have vowed not to leave.
The developers moved to court to have the land declared theirs and were granted orders restraining the sand sellers. But an eviction notice they issued has irked MP Alice Ng’ang’a and members of the county assembly.
Ng’ang’a, who held a meeting with the sand sellers at the contentious site, said various government agencies — including Kenya National Highways Authority and Kiambu County government — would determine the ownership of the land. Her sentiments were echoed by John Njiru and Kennedy Kimani, the Hospital and Township wards MCAs, respectively.
She revealed that the process will commence on Tuesday next week, an exercise she insisted will help end the stalemate.
The MP made a stern warning to public land grabbers upholding that any parcel belonging to the public and which may have been sold to unsuspecting customers or stolen by greedy grabbers will be returned to the public.
“Those who have stolen public land should return forthwith. We must secure all public spaces for successful social-economic development. Going forward, we will engage all government agencies to help us determine who this land belongs to,” said the MP.
Her sentiments were echoed by John Njiru and Kennedy Kimani, the Hospital and Township Wards MCAs respectively who vowed to use the powers within them to protect public property.
Devastated sand sellers had earlier regretted that besides the public being left with no cemetery to bury their loved ones, they only know the place as their workstation and a possible eviction could leave them with nowhere to operate from.