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Kwale residents suffer police brutality while fighting for their land, Kwale County MP land report unravels

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[Kwale women Rep Zuleikha Juma. Photo.Alloys Musyoka]

Land issues in Kwale County have proved to be a big problem with genuine land owners living in fear of intimidation and police harassment who evict them and protect tycoons.

A report from the office of Kwale County women representative Zuleikha Juma paints a disturbing picture of a situation that majority of Kwale people go through while fighting for their land where they are evicted every day to pave way for the ongoing expansion of the mega sisal plantation.

Mwembeni residents in Taru and Chengoni locations in Samburu play a clear example of how locals are suffering in a land dispute with Nyari Investment Limited since 1979.

This is even after natives who mainly do bee keeping and farming won a case before Hon. Justice Simpson on Monday  9:30am 25/2/1980 in Mombasa High court and were awarded back their land.

However, this judgment was not honored by the then director of the company, Mr. George Nicholus Durose despite not having appealed, he did not surrender the land.

Since then the land has changed hands with different companies and director’s up-to-date while locals continue being harassed by GSU under instructions of the now MOCASH PROCESSORS under directorship of Mr. Awadh Saleh and Mr. Saleh Awadh.

1978 – 1984: Nyari Estate Ltd

Directors;

Mr. Nicholus George Durose

Mrs. Nicholus George Durose

1984 – 1987: Nyari Estate Ltd (under receivership)

Appointed receivers: Delloitte Haskins and Sells

1987 – 1988: SOSCO Estate Ltd

Directors:

Mr. Saliarellis

Mr. Harris Horn Jnr

Mr.Nicholus George Durose

1988 – 1990: Nyari Investment Ltd

Directors:

Mr. Harris Horn Snr

Mr. Harris Horn Jnr

Mr. Nicholus George Durose

Mr. Simon De Wells

1990 – 2000: Nyari Investments (1988 Ltd)

Directors:

Mr. Harris Horn Snr

Mr. Harris Horn Jnr

2000 to date: MOCASH PROCESSORS

Directors:

Mr. Awadh Saleh

Mr. Saleh Awadh

All the companies and directors have ignored the court ruling over the land dispute up-to-date, reads the report.

“There are a lot of intimidations, beatings, human rights violations, harassments and oppressions to the natives making them squatters on their own land,” says the report.

The report recommended that all victims must be compensated and GSU camp in the area stop being misused by the company directors.

[ A photo of the Nyari sisal plantation. Photo/Haramo Ali]

Another case is that of Mivumoni within Mrima Bwiti, Pongwe/Kikoneni ward in LungaLunga Constituency where residents have stayed there for many years with government trying to survey, adjudicate and give title deeds only for the exercise to be dubbed fake with none of the residents getting land ownership document.

Conflict started some years ago after outsiders came to the scheme with title deeds claiming to be the ‘real owners’ of the land, unfortunately after locals protested local administration supported those with title deeds leaving the squatters helpless.

“In fact the only thing the government officials could tell the indigenous was to count their trees to be compensated ksh.100/, their rice and maize were destroyed by a tractor, added the report.

The people who came with the Title deeds were developing the land by planting crops and more trees. They have hired ‘care-takers’ to work in their land.

Apart from that, there were other people from Maumba resettled by Base Titanium mining company to the same land which was resided by the indigenous people of Mrima Bwiti and they were told to find another place to give way for the Maumba people without knowing exactly where they were going next.

“The prayer of the residents is to have the scheme surveyed, adjudicated and given Title deeds as a proof of ownership because they are having sleepless night.

The want the Pongwe Chief’s office be reformed to offer better services and not to be skewed to the land grabbers at the expense of the citizens, recommended the report.

In the report in Denyenye ,Waa/Ng’ombeni ward in Matuga  residents’ ancestor land was allegedly grabbed by Bamburi Cement claiming to be part of its land and evicted the people living in the land, ceasing activities carried in the land and denied any development to be done on the land.

It is claimed that Bamburi took over 162 acres of the land from the Colonial lease in the year 1950s which was expected to expire on 2013 but grabbed more land totaling to about 540 acres, the rest meant for the community.

The community wants the land back for them to carry out their economic activities but the limited land is already occupied by housing hence no areas to do farming and quarry activities, the area has been missing County Projects on grounds that there is no land for development including stadium, dispensary and ECDE since 2013 .

Locals said that their efforts to get assistance from Ardhi house, Ombusdsman, and Kwale county government have yielded nothing.

They want the land reclaimed through court or through the President.