alexa Investors flee squatters’ wrath - Daily Nation

Investors flee squatters’ wrath

Thursday August 18 2011

Young men collect what remained of what they described as Mosque at the Malindi Curio Market beach after council askaris destroyed it. Two investors who had gone to check on a beach plot were on Thursday chased by squatters at Sabaki. Photo/ROBERT NYAGA

Young men collect what remained of what they described as Mosque at the Malindi Curio Market beach after council askaris destroyed it. Two investors who had gone to check on a beach plot were on Thursday chased by squatters at Sabaki. Photo/ROBERT NYAGA 

By DANIEL NYASSY [email protected] BY JONATHAN MANYINDO [email protected]

Two investors fled from angry squatters at Sabaki in Magarini District where they had gone to survey their 17-acre beach plot.

They rushed to their vehicle and sped off when local youths confronted them at the Sabaki sand dunes.

They intended to identify their beach plot at the controversial site that has seen ugly protests in the past.

According to a Sabaki village elder, Mr Samuel Shida Kitsao, the two, who had a title deed, asked to be shown their plot.

“The chief told me to wait for them and show them the area,” Mr Kitsao told journalists on Thursday.

He said residents were angry because the allocation of land in the controversial Sabaki Settlement Scheme had not been carried out in an open manner.

“The allocation was irregular. Local people did not get any land despite recommendations that each household be allocated at least two acres,” he said.

A resident, Mr Joseph Mangi, said they opposed the allocation by writing two letters to the Lands permanent secretary and District Lands Board.

“The local community got a raw deal. We were sidelined completely as outsiders benefited,” he said.

Malindi district land surveyor Bernard Omondi, who had accompanied the investors, said it was his job to show people the location of their plots if they produced title deeds.

Meanwhile, the controversy surrounding the discovery and mining of rich iron ore deposits in Taita Taveta County intensified yesterday when an assistant minister joined the fray to demand valuation of the ore extracted from the region with a bid to claim compensation from a mining company.

Education assistant minister Calist Mwatela said that the occupation of the community land by the mining company was enough reason for the landowners to demand compensation.

“Now that it has come out clearly from the Ministry of Lands that the land belongs to a cooperative ranch, there is need for the landowners to be compensated,” he said.

He said the government’s declaration has come at the right time when the Mining Bill is about to be tabled in Parliament.

Wanjala Mining Company began prospecting in Kishushe location three years ago, yielding promising quantities of iron ore deposits.

Last week, the Kishushe Ranching Cooperative Society warned Chinese investors interested in investing in the area to hold on until the land ownership row was resolved.

This was to put on notice a Chinese steel manufacturer who had approached the mining firm with a partnership proposal.

Steel smelting plant

Wanjala Mining Company’s Ramesh Sanghani said that for a steel smelting plant to be put up in the area, it had to produce up to 20 million tonnes per month to guarantee a 15-year sustainability of the plant.

Currently, they could only produce up to four million tonnes per month, he said.