Over 300 residents of Kambini in Tsunza, Kinango Sub-county, Kwale are crying foul over their imminent eviction from their ancestral land to pave way for the Dongo Kundu project.
Speaking to the press the residents say they are yet to receive a coin in compensation yet the works on their land has started in earnest.
They said that they had engaged relevant authorities and local political leadership on the compensation issue but the authorities keep on getting promises of ample compensation.
The Dongo Kundu Bypass Highway also called Mombasa Southern Bypass Highway is a road under construction and when completed, it will connect Mombasa and Kwale counties without passing through Mombasa Island.
Their trees including coconut and custard apples have been uprooted and worse, the graves in which their relatives are interred for decades are about to be destroyed.
Riziki Athman said the government took six acres of their 15-acre ancestral land and for which they were to be compensated Sh52 million.
“However, when the award letter came, the amount written was only 16 million and it was for a parcel of land with a different plot number,” said Riziki.
She said one of her relatives, who work in the Kwale county government, is responsible for the mess they find themselves in.
“The man has sub-divided our land without our consent and sold part of it to wealthy business people,” said Athman.
Saumu Juma said her father owned the land on which she was born and brought up.
“We are the ones who planted these coconut trees but now somebody is trying to elbow us out of our inheritance,” said Juma.
Jumaa Mwinyi said the land they live in were left to him and his four remaining siblings to take care of.
“But now strangers are coming to us saying they bought the land and being told to move out and wonder our land can be sold without our consent?” he posed.
[Dongo Kundu road construction ongoing at Tsunza Village. Photo/Ahmed Omar].
Gandini Assistant chief Munga Ndegwa said they are yet to get the complaints from the residents.
However, Riziki says they have been to all government offices including the chief’s, the deputy County commissioner’s and the local MP’s.
“We have made all kinds of follow-ups but we are told to wait and we cannot wait any longer because soon our whole land will go,” said Riziki.
Mghala Mwadeka, an octogenarian who has lived his whole life in the village says he has nowhere else to go.
“If the government wants to take our land, then it is only fair that we are compensated before we leave but evicting us using strangers is not fair,” said Mwadeka.