A row has erupted in Kimuka, Ngong area of Kajiado county over the ownership of a 2,600-acre piece of land, Writes Linet Minayo.
Some 1600 families who claim ownership of the said parcel allege that some unscrupulous individuals are attempting to eject them from the area.
The land in question borders Kenya Defence Force shooting range ground that sits on 728 acres of land that was donated by the Keek-Onyokie Maasai from the Entashat scheme in 1982.
Former NTSA boss, Francis Meja and Bishop Stephen Mparingoi told the Star on Wednesday morning that residents of Entashat in the Kimuka area were visited on Tuesday by people claiming they are army officers.
“They told our people they were occupying their 2600 acres of land which borders the KDF shooting rangeland and demanded that they should move out,” said Meja.
Meja argued that the land in question is owned by the local people after they donated 728 acres to the Kenya army in the early 1980s.
“All the people owning land near the KDF shooting range have valid titles and some portions have even exchanged hands more than four times,” said Meja.
Mparingoi said those being to move out of their ancestral land received compensation from the Kenya Electricity Transmission Company when its Suswa electricity powerline way leaf passed through their land. Rev Mparingoi said the Entashat scheme was demarcated around 1979 and all the people who got their shares, including the KDF, were issued with titles.
“We are appealing to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene on this matter because it is about our lives. Someone coming here to claim they have 2,600 acres is an insult to the community,” said Mparingoi.
Most of the people living on the said land, and who talked to the Star, claimed to have bank loans they took using their land titles as collateral.
Another farmer, Peter Mpusia, said he bought 50 acres of land there from an original owner and had no problem in transferring the said property at the lands office in Ngong at the time.
“This is my home. I moved with my family from Narok around the time I bought that land and have never had issues with anyone,” said Mpusia.
Mpusia, Meja and Mparingoi said they will move to court to stop those claiming they are from KDF and want to take over their land.
Former area MP Moses Sakuda said he will stand with the Keek-Onyokie community in defending their land.
“This cannot happen in this era, those are unscrupulous people out to steal our land. We gave the army land and they have come back to demand more? Never will that happen,” said Sakuda.
He went on: “Yesterday I called the new Minister of Defense Hon Eugene Wamalwa and he promised to look into the matter. We were born there and everyone knows where the shooting rangeland is and where private adjudicated properties with genuine titles are”.
Sakuda said a genuine title is a government document that not even the President can just dismiss casually.
Our attempt to reach out to the area MP, George Sunkuyia for comment on the matter did not materialise as his phone went unanswered.
We also attempted to reach out to the commissioner of lands office but there was no one to comment on the matter.