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Defence CS assures of speedy resolution of land issue between KDF and communities

The Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ministry of Defence Aden Duale has assured Kenyans of speedy resolutions to the matter of land belonging to Kenya Defence Forces across six counties including Uasin Gishu, Marsabit, Meru, Kwale, Isiolo, which has raised concerns from time to time between the KDF and the neighbouring communities.

The CS noted that the government is committed to addressing the long-time problem to restore peaceful coexistence between the members of the communities and the military.

Speaking at a consultative forum at Uasin Gishu County Chambers, Eldoret, with a delegation from the Ministry of Lands led by PS Nixon Korir, National Land Commission led by Chairman Gershom Otachi, KDF management led by Vice Chief of Defence Forces Lt. General Charles Muriu and the County leadership led by Governor Dr. Jonathan Chelilim, CS Duale affirmed that the disputed land at Kiplombe area, Eldoret, is a public land titled under the KDF.

“We have come as a full delegation here, the Ministry of Lands, NLC, the Ministry of Defence. We are ready and have decided to resolve this issue once and for all. We want our communities to live in peace with the KDF,” noted the CS.

He further explained that they had come to consult with the communities occupying the said land, resolve and agree on how they would be allocated their pieces of land with title deeds after a team of surveyors are sent to the ground to survey the area to be allocated to the communities.

He called for commitment between the leadership to work together with the national government to resolve the matter amicably and to prevent grabbers of public land.

Duale warned cartels claiming to have title deeds to the disputed land who have been coning people of their money with the intent of selling them the land that their time is over as he urged the DCI to investigate the matter and bring those involved to book.

“Tell those who are moving around carrying fake documents that their time is over, and if any, I challenge them to go to the National Land Commission to confirm the authenticity of their titles,” he said.

“The leadership and the communities must be ready to tell off those brokers. We want our people to get titles, they get their share and we remain with ours,” said Duale.

He said he would forward the matter to the Cabinet in line with the Physical and Land Use Planning Act as he assured that in 6 months time, the issue would have been solved.

PSs, Patrick Mariru (Defence), Xixon Korir (Lands), Defence CS Aden Duale, Governor Jonathan Chelilim, Janet Sitienei (MP Turbo) and Lt. General Charles Muriu (Vice Chief of Defence Forces), posed for a photo after a meeting at the County Chambers, County Headquarters, Eldoret, Uasin Gishu, Thursday March 28, 2024. Photo caption by Ekuwam Sylvester

He reiterated the significance of the KDF’s beneficial contribution to the surrounding communities in terms of trade, employment and others and hence the need for peaceful and harmonious co-existence.

Lands PS Nickson Korir acknowledged the significant move by the DoD and other stakeholders to solve the long-standing problem to ensure people get land allocation.

He raised concern over those taking advantage of the justice system through courts to prolong the issue by taking cases there yet they don’t have proper documentation of the said land.

Uasin Gishu leadership led by Governor Chelilim and Senator Mandago, commended the Defence CS for coming to the ground to consult with the community with a view to having the pre-colonial issue resolved to ensure the people involved rightfully get ownership of the land.

“To restore peaceful co-existence, we support things to be done this way to serve as an example to those who grab public land. We support our communities to get titles to their farms since they have suffered since the precolonial period,” noted Senator Mandago.

On his part, the NLC Chairman indicated that they have had a concern over the issue and as managers of all public lands, they have embraced the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to address the conflict regarding public land.

In his remarks, Joseph Tororei, the chairman of Kiplombe farms, Uasin Gishu, where there is dispute between the community and the military, said they were grateful to the government for having the boundary issue with KDF which has lasted over 48 years resolved.

Others present were Defence PS Patrick Mariru, General Officer Commanding Western Command Maj Gen Jeff Nyaga, NLC team, Turbo Constituency MP Janet Sitienei, Uasin Gishu CECM Lands Dr. Janet Kosgei and others.

By Ekuwam Sylvester and Judy Too

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