Widow ejected from Vihiga home in land tussle

Thursday January 11 2018

Shaviringa village, Vihiga County

Some of the structures that were demolished when the woman was evicted from the parcel in Shaviringa village, Vihiga County. PHOTO | ISAAC WALE | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

By DERICK LUVEGA
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A widow and her family are living in the chief's office at Shaviringa in Hamisi sub-county, Vihiga County, after a mob demolished their two houses and a posho mill.

Eunice Moraa, 63, her son Benard Mengesa, 31, his wife and three children aged between three months and seven years, were rendered homeless on December 5 last year.

The long standing family dispute that started in 2002 led to the loss of their two acre piece of land after it was allegedly sold without their knowledge in in 2010.

Ms Moraa was widowed in 1999 when her husband, Samwel Lusasi, died.

Ms Moraa says she got married to Lusasi in 1977 as a second wife. The couple had three sons and Mengesa is the eldest.

Lusasi's first wife is Estera Mmbone, was accused of selling the two acre piece of land to Fred Sambili, who is not known to the family.

Nation could not reach the two for comment with the local administration saying they don't reside within the location.

The purported buyer,  in the company of a mob and police officers from Serem police station arrived at the home and conducted the demolition.

The affected family told that Nation at the chief's office their land was sold by a  relative without their knowledge.

Further,  they don't have a title deed but have an allotment  number after the land was given to them by Kabinjari primary school in 1996 after the school took over their original land for expansion.

Nation saw a letter by the school confirming that it lawfully  gave out the land in dispute to the family.

Mr Mengesa, who spoke on behalf of  the affected family in the presence of his mother, Ms Moraa, said the dispute has traumatised them.

Mr Mengesa, a boda boda operator, recalled that a mob went to their land and threw our property before demolishing the house belonging to his mother, his house and their posho mill.

"Our original land was taken over by Kabinjari Primary School to allow for its expansion in 1996. The school then compensated us by giving us this land at Shaviringa," said Mr Mengesa.

He went on: "Our father had two wives. The first wife remained at Kabinjari and we relocated. However after the death of our father, a dispute begun and the other family is the one that brought in someone by the name Fred Sambili claiming to have sold our land to him."

"The first wife to my father is called Estera Mmbone. She remained at Kabinjari when the school relocated us to Nandwa settlement scheme where this land was awarded to us," added Mr Nandwa.

He noted that is the situation persists, they would reclaim back the land the school took from them to avert the trauma the family is currently facing.

Shaviringa location chief Josephine Khalwale said she now lacks an office to operate from after she surrendered her two roomed office to house them.

The chief's office is adjacent to the land in dispute pitting two families belonging to Mr Samwel Lusasi, who died in 1999.

"As you can see they have young children and they could not live in the cold. The family dispute has left them homeless," said Ms Khalwale, whose office has housed the embattled family for a month now.

She added: "I have nowhere to work from now. The family dispute has robbed me of an office. I would wish that the matter is addressed fast so that I can reclaim my office back."