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Locals protest over Kedong ranch

Wednesday November 13 2019

Suswa protests

Locals staged protests on the Narok-Maai Mahiu highway on November 13, 2019. PHOTO | GEORGE SAYAGIE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

GEORGE SAYAGIE
By GEORGE SAYAGIE
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Construction of the multi-billion Inland Container Depot (ICD) in Naivasha has been thrown into disarray after people squatting on land earmarked for the project staged a demonstration Wednesday.

Over 300 people held demos at Suswa Trading Centre to protest construction of a perimeter wall in the land that has locked them inside the land with no way out.

Following the demo, there was a heavy traffic snarl-up on the Narok-Mai Mahiu highway as residents blocked a section of the road as youths chanted 'bado mapambano'.

A contingent of police officers accompanied by Narok sub-county deputy commissioner Arthur Bunde tried to clear the road after it was closed for nearly two hours.

Among those held up in the traffic jam included Nyamira Governor John Nyagarama, people travelling to Narok, Bomet, Kisii and Nyanza and tourists travelling from and to Maasai Mara game reserve.

The protesters, led by political and land activist Kaza-Roho Torome, are demanding for better compensation packages before they vacate a section of the expansive ranch that has been set aside for set up of the special economic zone.

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On Tuesday, members of the Maasai community living on the controversial Kedong ranch moved to court seeking to stop their eviction.

The more than 30,000 members have filed a petition at the Environment and Land Court in Nakuru seeking orders declaring them genuine occupants of the land.

Through lawyers Thomas Letangule and Prof Tom Ojienda, the residents of the land have sued Kedong Ranch Ltd, the Kenya Railways Corporation, the National Land Commission (NLC) and the Attorney-General.

In the case filed under a certificate of urgency, the petitioners want the court to restrain the Kedong ranch from selling, disposing of or dealing with the land in a manner that will be detrimental to their occupation.