State in pledge to resolve long-running farm dispute

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020 00:00 | By
Some Members of the Ndibithi farm in Ndabibi Naivasha hold a peaceful demonstration to protest the grabbing of part of their 1,004 acres by a private developer. Photo/PD/KIRERA MWITI

Aa land dispute in Naivasha that has been lagging on for the last 40 years will be resolved within two weeks, the government vowed yesterday.

The State  admitted that the long process to resolve the dispute in Ndabibi area had adversely affected development plans and co-existence between residents.

Two groups: Mwana Mwireri and Ndibithi and a private developer are aat the centre of the feud involving over 900 acres that once belonged to the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC).

The pledge came during a tense meeting in Ndabibi area where members of the two groups met senior government officers under tight security.

During the meeting, it was agreed that each group furnishes the government with ownership documents in two weeks before a final decision is made.

Authentic documents

Addressing the emotional farmers, Naivasha sub-county commissioner Kisilu Mutua said that both Lands and DCI officers would go through the documents to establish which were authentic.

He decried the period it had taken to resolve the dispute noting that he was keen to get to the bottom of the protracted land row.

“In the next two weeks we shall go through the documents and by end of November we shall come back here and make our findings,” he said.

Kisilu issued a notice to inciters that the security officers were keenly monitoring them and that no one would be allowed to shed any bloodshed in the area where tens of lives have been lost.

“There are some people who have been going round collecting cash from the farmers and we shall summon them so that this cash can be audited,” he said.

A member of Ndibithi group Edward Maina welcomed the move to audit all the land documents noting that some were fake.

Questionable arguments

He added that they were some of the first persons to arrive on the land back in 1964 and questioned an agreement from the splinter group obtained in 1974.

“Originally we this land was 900 acres in which ADC sold to members of the public but currently the dispute is around 300 acres,” he said.

His sentiments were echoed by Ndibithi Chairman Kimani Ng’ethe who said that many of the beneficiaries had died as they waited to get a parcel of the vast land which was originally bought by their parents.

“We have suffered for years waiting for justice and we hope that this time around the dispute around this land will be resolved,” he said.

On their part, members of Mwana Mwereri through Benson Karenju said that they had all the legal documents indicating that they bought the land in 1997 at Sh9m.

“We have over 2,500 members who have been waiting to get their share of land since 1977 and we hope that this time we shall get justice,” he said.

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