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Group ranch petitions court to reinstate their title deed

Oloololo Ranch Limited at the heart of World Famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve has petitioned Narok Environment and Land Court (ELC) to listen to a case in which National Land and Commission (NLC) revoked their title deed.
NLC revoked the title for the 26,100 hectares in favour of Irkerekeshe Group Ranch with a membership of over 3, 000 locals, citing historical injustices and unfairness when issuing the title deed.
Oloololo Ranch Limited represented by Kemboi S. L & Co. Advocates want the court to reinstate their land title deed saying the land was acquired legally back in 1994.
However, Irkerekeshe Group ranch represented by lawyer Godon Ogola said the case was of national importance and requested the Chief Justice David Maraga to constitute a three-bench judge to listen to the case.
“We are all aware that Oloololo Ranch Limited is owned by the family of Narok Governor Samuel Tunai hence request for a three bench judge that will not be compromised or biased in their judgment,” said Ogola.
The advocate said that the land was given to the community by the first Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta back in 1975 and remained a property of the community until in 1994 when Oloololo Ranch Limited was issued with a title deed to own the land.
“The land was gazzetted as community land in 1975 after the first president gave it to the community. Things changed later when one influential family was given a title deed to own the entire land,” the advocate said.
According to Irkereshe Group Ranch Chairman Francis Ole Ramet, the land that hosts a number of five star hotels including Sarova, Angama Safari Lodge, Kichwa Tembo Lodge and Mara triangle among others attracts over Sh70 billion yearly, which benefitted only a few individuals.
“When we realized that the land had been grabbed by one family, we petitioned NLC who indeed found that the grabbing of the land was part of historical injustices and revoked the title deed,” said Ole Ramet.
Additionally, the community decried frustrations from the county rangers who do not allow their animals to graze or drink water in the protected area.
“The members of the community are charged Sh10, 000 per year for their cows to feed in the conservancy yet they are the custodians of the wildlife,” said Ole Ramet.
Narok ELC Judge Mohammed Kullow asked all the parties to give their submission saying the ruling of the matter would be on May 24, 2019.
By Ann Salaton

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