Police evict squatters from farm

Thursday December 23 1999


More than100 squatters in Nandi District have been evicted from a farm by by armed policemen for allegedly occupying private land.

During the Tuesday raid conducted by Tinderet DO Gilbert Kityo, several families were displaced while others were injured and admitted at Nandi Hills Hospital.

Nandi police boss Francis Changwani said the squatters were evicted because they were occupying land which was not theirs.

Mr Changwani said the squatters had been living on the land illegally and they should now seek settlement elsewhere.

The squatters accused the police and the DO of destroying their property and houses after they defied a move to quit the farm.

They added that following the eviction, they have been forced to camp at Mberere and Kipkerere primary schools where they have spent nights in the cold .

Led by their chairman, Mr Musa Rotich, the squatters accused the DO of forcing them to quit the land after allegedly receiving directives from the ADC management.

They named those injured as Ms Mary Matinda, Mr Christopher Yandika and an expectant woman, a Mrs Okova, who is admitted at Nandi Hills Hospital.

The squatters' spokesman said an agreement to settle them at Kameiywa farm in Songhor location was reached in 1988 and that they were to get 585 acres of land.

Local councillor William Chumba claimed that the ADC management had settled members of one community only and that he was against an alleged move to evict other communities.

In a related development, 585 squatters at Chemelil farm have collected allotment letters and will be shown their plots of land today.

Nandi Hills DO Gedion Lesothia and the farm general manager, Mr Charles Arobi, told the squatters during a meeting at the farm that they should accept the six acres of land given to each by the farm's directors.

The two said the government would like to see all squatters occupying newly allocated land by next month.

They told the squatters that they should not expect to be given the whole farm free but be prepared to buy part of it.

The squatters commended the owner, Mr Piyus Patel, for giving them free land and disowned individuals who were urging them not to accept the offer. and promised to develop the land for economic gain.