El­doret bul­let fac­tory in 2,000 acres row

Mandago says squat­ters are ha­rassed

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties Rift Valley - MATHEWS NDANYI @ndany­i_­math­ews

The bul­let fac­tory in El­doret is caught up in a land row with more than 1,000 squat­ters claim­ing to own a part of it.

The squat­ters are ac­cus­ing KDF sol­diers of fre­quent ha­rass­ment.

Uasin Gishu Gov­er­nor Jack­son Mandago and the par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee on Defence and For­eign Re­la­tions held a cri­sis meet­ing on Tues­day at the Kenya Ord­nance Fac­tory in Ka­m­agut on the El­doret-Ki­tale road.

Mandago ac­cused the KDF of­fi­cers man­ag­ing the fac­tory of “ar­ro­gance, dis­re­spect and abuse of the hu­man rights of the fam­i­lies of the squat­ters”.

The squat­ters have lived on the land next to the fac­tory for many decades, but KDF has in­sisted it owns the more than 2,000 acres “The sit­u­a­tion is very bad and must be re­solved ur­gently,” Mandago said.

He ac­cused some se­nior of­fi­cers of dis­re­spect­ing Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto, whose home is near the area. “One of the se­nior of­fi­cers has been telling res­i­dents to go away with their Ruto. The of­fi­cers talk to gov­ern­ment of­fi­cers in this county with ar­ro­gance. They do not even re­spect the county com­mis­sioner, who is a key gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive,” Mandago said.

A key road used by the com­mu­nity near the fac­tory has been closed, wors­en­ing the dis­pute.

The gov­er­nor, who threat­ened to stage protests at the fac­tory, also ac­cused the sol­diers of forcibly tak­ing sheep and goats be­long­ing to a squat­ter.

Fafi MP Barre Shill, who chaired the meet­ing, said they have col­lected views from res­i­dents and they would meet rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment or­gans to re­solve the dis­pute.

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