A family at Koroto Sub Location in Baringo North is protesting a court ruling, ordering exhumation of the body of their kin buried next to a classroom a week ago following land ownership row.
Speaking to the press at Kabarnet Town after the court ruling on Wednesdays, the family members led by Jacob Cherop said they were shocked by Kabarnet Resident Magistrate Viennah Amboko’s ruling because they strongly believed that the land was theirs.
Cherop added that the exhumation ruling was unfair to them since an earlier injunction case filed on January this year under section 3a and 63(c) of the civil procedure act by the deceased, Paul Kipchabas Ruto was not honoured.
The application sought to restrain BOM of both Koroto day Seconday and Koroto Primary School and County government of Baringo from further engagements on the disputed land measuring about 20 acres.
According to the family, the deceased had donated 10 acres of land for Koroto primary school some years back but has encroached on the remaining land and built a day secondary school without their consent. “The fence is still intact and other structures but the school board and the head teacher have never engaged us until the demise of our brother from a terminal illness,” he said.
Edna Chebon, a sister in-law to Kipchabas said the deceased was not the only one that has been buried in the disputed land since other members from Kamengich clan have also been buried there.
Chebon stated that it was unfortunate that the deceased who was the sole complainant had passed on during a time when he was still searching for justice over encroachment of his land.
She claims that the deceased in his will had instructed some of the family members to bury him next to the newly constructed classrooms sitting in the disputed land.
David Ruto, brother to the deceased lamented that the court had been dragging in determining the pending case by adjourning it severally yet the verdict of the second case by the school was arrived at very fast.
The family has since vowed not to receive the exhumed body since it was against their customs to go against the deceased wishes.
Andrew Kimuge, son to the deceased on his part alleged that the schools do not even have allotment letters to justify their ownership and urged the Ministry Of Education to intervene and have the matter solved amicably.
On his part, Bishop William Kitilit, Chair of Baringo Human Right Consortium said that the matter was hurriedly ruled without the input of the elders who were well versed with local land boundaries.
Kitilit warned that if such conflicts are not resolved amicably, they can breed enmity and heighten animosity between members of the society and institutions.
By Benson Kelio and Christopher Kiprop