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County Commissioner Warns Land Buying Companies against Incitement

A former civic leader at the defunct Nakuru County Council was left nursing serious injuries after two groups clashed over land at Oljorai within Gilgil Sub-County.
The bloody scuffle between members of Solai Ruyobei Farm and Oljorai Land Buying Company erupted on Wednesday over planned demarcation of the 8,000 acre parcel of land.
County Commissioner Erastus Mwenda Mbui faulted officials of Solai Ruyobei farm for invading the land despite Oljorai Land Company having obtained court orders barring them from doing so, pending an appeal the latter has filed in an ownership dispute in the High Court.
The injured former councilor identified as Charles Olare Chebet was rushed to hospital after he was shot on the head.
Mwenda warned that security personnel will not tolerate individuals who were inciting residents into acts of lawlessness using land disputes as excuses.
Earlier Mr Chebet had told the media that Solai Ruyobei Farm had been granted ownership of the land after winning a court case against the rival company.
He said 1,300 members had been unable to occupy their land which they acquired in 1992 after what he described as squatters swamped it.
However Oljorai Land Buying Company Peter Ole Osono said Olare’s group had been served with court orders barring them from setting foot on the land until the matter before the Court of Appeal is heard and determined.
Mr Ole Osono who is also a former civic leader at the defunct Nakuru County Council said the residents had been provoked into violence after the invaders erected a tent at a private home.
Additional security personnel were deployed in the area and managed to disperse the warring groups that were armed with bows, arrows and clubs.
Mr Ole Osono urged Solai Ruyobei Farm officials to be patient as courts resolve the dispute adding that land ownership was a sensitive matter that needed to be addressed through laid down procedures

By Jane Ngugi/Dennis Rasto

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