The battle for 10,000 acres of land between prominent personalities in the former Kanu regime and thousands of squatters in Nandi County has taken a new twist after the devolved unit sided with locals over fresh orders to kick them out.
The squatters, who have said they will not move out of the land in Tinderet Constituency, also have the support of local leaders. The local leaders have said they will oppose any plans to evict them.
Initially, the land belonged to the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), but was issued to powerful individuals during former President Moi’s administration. Locals argue that the issuance was not done in the right way.
The squatters, who claim ownership of the pieces of land, said they had received orders from the ADC management to vacate the land but they would stay put.
Some of those who claim ownership of the land in dispute are the families of former Director-General of the National Intelligence Service Brigadier Wilson Boinet, Reuben Chesire, Ezekiel Bargetuny and Philemon Abong’o among others.
Majority of the squatters are former employees of the ADC Kimwani and who have always accused the prominent people of being interested in displacing them.
The landless families said they were born there and the land rightfully belonged to them.
The squatters held a meeting on Monday with Nandi county executive for Jacob Tanui, Chief Officer Solomon Mangira and county executive for Youth and Sports Ely Kurgat, where they demanded that ADC immediately suspends any planned eviction.
The officials said they would call for a meeting with the ADC management in a bid to avert fresh confrontations and forceful evictions.
The squatters’ spokesman Simeon Chepkwony said they were not ready to vacate the land, saying they had genuine allotment letters.
Mr Chepkwony said the squatters have occupied the land for the last 20 years.
Tinderet MP Julius Melly voiced his support for them urging them to ignore any order from the ADC administrators or plans to give them alternative land.