A family in Ngigeri, Embu County spent Saturday night in the cold after their three houses were demolished by armed youths in a land dispute with a neighbour.
Mr Faustino Mundigi, 68, said they were shocked after the youths armed with crude weapons accompanied by police in two trucks raided their home, ordered everyone out and started throwing household items out and then demolished the houses.
He said he occupied the land in 1975 and has brought up his family there and even buried his parents on the land.
Mr Mundigi said he has been embroiled in a land tussle with a resident, who only laid claim to the 20-acre parcel of land about five years ago.
The farmer said a magistrate’s court had ruled that the land belongs to the neighbour but he had appealed the decision and is still pursuing the case in court since an eviction order had not been issued.
NO COURT ORDER
He said his family was intimidated by the many armed police officers who did not even show the court order they were allegedly executing.
“I have always known this to be my land since we came here with my father 43 years ago. I have buried my two parents here,” said Mr Mundigi.
He said the police officers came in two trucks and ordered everyone out of the compound.
Mr Mundigi added that the family had lost Sh300,000 that was in a box and most of the household property destroyed.
Angry villagers stormed the home and retrieved the items that had been strewn outside the compound and threatened to demolish the neighbour’s house but were repulsed by police.
“Police stayed on guard and were chasing away the villagers who were assisting me. This is my house and my family lives here and we have nowhere to go,” said Mr Mundigi.
During the commotion, Ms Damaris Ndegi, who was working as a casual labourer, claimed that she was assaulted by the police as she went to investigate what was happening.
“A police officer confronted me and ordered me out of the compound and he slapped me hard. It caused me a lot pain,” she said.
Mr Mundigi’s son Nicholas Mundigi, 42 said he had been brought up on the land and has always regarded it as his home.
“I am told that we came here when I was less than a year old and now I am 42. We have always lived here peacefully,” he said.