Residents of Kadenge sub location have accused a member of the Siaya County Assembly of grabbing 200 acres of land in Yala swamp.
According to the residents, Central Alego ward MCA Leonard Oriaro has illegally allocated himself a vast land within the wetland following the exit of an American investor.
“It is quite unfortunate that after fighting Dominion Farms, our leaders, amongst them our own MCA and a chief in Alego have now become the predators,” lamented a group of farmers, led by their secretary Fredrick Okumu.
They said that local politicians and administrators were involved in a scramble for the wetland, displacing local farmers who, for decades, have been tilling the land.
“We are helpless as our chief and MCA have conspired to grab our land and nobody can dare question them,” said Okumu adding that the duo has been threatening them with arrest.
The farmers called on the government to intervene and kick off all the politicians and well connected individuals who have invaded the wetland illegally.
Contacted, Oriaro dismissed the claims, saying that he does not own any piece of land in Yala swamp.
The MCA said that he owns a tractor that has been assisting farmers around the area to till land at a fee, adding that this could have caused the confusion.
“Reports that I have grabbed land in Yala swamp are neither here nor there. My tractor has been assisting farmers to till land at a fee and if this is what makes them believe that I have grabbed land, then they are wrong,” said the MCA.
Oriaro said those behind the lies were disgruntled elements working for known grabbers who have been blocked from oppressing members of the public.
By Philip Onyango