A senior security manager at EAPCC said on Thursday many people have been conned in to buying non-existent land the company’s farm in Athi River.
Bonaya Huka, who has been liaising with the local police in fighting well-connected individuals invading the property, said many people have lost millions of shillings after they were issued with fake land titles.
When asked about their involvement in yesterday’s demolitions overseen by police in their Athi River ranch, Huka denied that EAPCC was involved.
“We are not aware of the demolition. And if it is true it has happened, that is a blessing in disguise. We have fought endless wars in fending off the invaders, who seem to be well-connected individuals,” said Huka on the phone.
He said he was speaking from Machakos town, but maintained that original land title for the company’s land is intact.
“Our title is intact, and those others being issued to unsuspecting land buyers are fake,” he said.
As Huka spoke several houses were being demolished on the controversial East African Portland Cement Company land in Athi River, Machakos County.
The houses among other structures were pulled down by bulldozers under the watch of a contingent of police officers.
The officers drawn from several sub counties within Machakos reported at Athi River police station in hundreds before they proceeded to the land where they kept vigil as the demolitions took place.
Athi River police boss Sharma Wario said the officers were not involved in pulling down the structures.
Wario said the demolitions were conducted by EAPCC officials who took advantage of heavy police presence on the land.
“Our duty as police is to maintain peace and order. We want to ensure that peace prevails on that portion of land,” said Wario. He addressed the press at his office on Thursday.
He said there have been wrangles among some cartels who sell the same land to unsuspecting buyers.
“There are people who call themselves chairmen. They have encroached their fellows portions on the grabbed EAPCC land after selling out theirs leading to the conflict,” said Wario.
He said the land is owned by Portland Cement Company hence the cartels have nothing to sell. They fleece unsuspecting members of the public.
Wario said the cartels belong to more than 14 self help groups.
He said the groups have been illegally subdividing the land and selling it out.
“On 22/2/2016, some groups fought on the same land, one person was shot dead. One year later, same people fought on the same land and five people were killed. Two days ago, some of the cartels demolished structures belonging to others. This is why we are conducting the operations,” he said.
He said as county security team, they have decided to flash out all the groups from the land.
Early last year, Huka took Star reporters to survey the extent of the grabbed land by the cartels where he said the cartels are vicious and can “kill” those who stand on their way.
EAPCC chief executive officer, Peter ole Nkeri, could not respond to ether our calls of SMS regarding the demolition that covered close to 5 kms from Mto Mawe Bridge towards the Small World.
In 2016, the country’s oldest cement claimed it was battling powerful cartels in its attempt to regain access to their Athi River land.
The company has more than 13, 000acres of land in Athi River that contain raw materials but most of it had been “taken” over by individuals, who the police cannot arrest.
At the time, EACC, according to former CEO Kepha Tande, was spending a whopping Sh10 million per day to guard the land.
A taskforce report on Irregular Appropriation of Public Land and the Squatter Problem in Athi River was released in 2011 and indicated the scam was so grave that even land belonging to Churches, other than those belonging to corporate organisations had not been spared.
The team was led by former provincial administrator, John Abduba.