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State puts land invaders on notice

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner (RC) Abdi Hassan has cautioned Naivasha residents against invading private land, adding that those doing so will face the full force of the law.

Hassan voiced the concern over what he termed as an emerging trend, where wananchi have been invading private land in the country, warning that this will not be tolerated in the Rift Valley region.

“Our security personnel are on high alert and will arrest any individuals found invading private property,” the RC warned.

Hassan was addressing the media in Naivasha on Wednesday after chairing a joint meeting between the regional and Nakuru County security teams, who deliberated on the issue of the recent invasion of private land in Maai-mahiu and Ndabibi areas in Naivasha Sub-county.

The Nakuru County security team in the deliberations was led by the area County Commissioner Lyford Kibaara.

Last week, over a group of 500 irate mob invaded an expansive former Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) farm in Ndabibi and started planting crops, even as the legal owners had also ploughed it and started planting their crops.

The crowd that was armed with crude weapons vowed not bulge from the over 1,000 acres which they claim belonged to them. The part of the land which was invaded belongs to a high-ranking government official in the late former President Daniel Arap Moi’s administration.

But in a sharp rejoinder, Hassan urged the invaders to vacate from the land immediately, saying the parcel of land in question has a case pending before court and urged them to wait for the resolution of this dispute.

The RC has in the past been quoted saying the government was determined to end the dispute in Ndabibi that spans over four decades.

Two weeks ago, a group of herders had equally invaded Utheri Wa Lari farm in Mai Mahiu and torched the farm’s office. This was after the court resolved the dispute over this land in favour of one group, but Hassan said the local security team will only move in to act on the land in question after they receive a court order.

The dispute at Ndabibi pits two groups namely Mwana Mwireri and Ndibithi and a private developer, over a 300-acre piece of land dispute that once belonged to the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC), after the public entity hived 900acres out of its 32,000 acres in the area and sold to the public.

By Mabel Keya-Shikuku

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