Kisii residents accuse Chinese firm of stealing soil - Daily Nation

Kisii residents accuse Chinese firm of stealing soil

Tuesday January 29 2019

China Henan International Corporation

Construction machinery belonging to China Henan International Corporation parked on the Kisii-Kisumu highway. Kitutu-Chache South sub-county residents took to the streets on January 29,2019 to protest alleged theft of soil from their farms. PHOTO | PERIS BARONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PERIS BARONGO

A Chinese construction company has been accused of stealing soil from farms in Kisii County.

Kitutu-Chache South sub-county residents took to the streets to protest against China Henan International Corporation Group. The residents alleged that the firm had been excavating soil from their farms without their consent and pleaded with relevant authorities to take up the matter.

“Our efforts to reach the national government have been fruitless but Nema officers in Kisii promised to stop the contactor,” said Irene Magoma a resident of Mosocho. The company is expanding the Kisii-Kisumu highway.

Mr Jared Ongera, the owner of the land in question, told the Nation that company had excavated soil from his plot of land measuring about 50 by 100m from December 19, 2018 without his knowledge.  

According to Mr Ongera, the contractor had ignored orders from local leaders to stop excavating soil from the piece of land. 

INCITING RESIDENTS

“They usually excavate soil from the land at night and before we realised, he had excavated about 50 metres,” said Mr Ongera.

Mr Zhang ‘Jay’ Shaowei, the lead contractor said, they were aware of the matter but accused Mr Ongera of inciting local residents to blow the matter out of proportion to demand more pay.

“We are aware of the accusations, we had talked to the owner of the land and promised to reclaim the land but he refused. It looks like he wants us to pay him more money,” said Mr Zhang.

STEALING SOIL

He added that they had since stopped the excavation. Earlier this month, the same company was sued for allegedly stealing soil valued at Sh3.7 million from a home in Bonchari.

Appearing before Kisii Senior Resident Magistrate Stephen Onjoro, Mr Zhang was charged with stealing soil from Mr Enock Onchangwa’s land on diverse dates between July 11 and August 6, 2018 at Wanjare sub-location. The case is set to continue next month.