Mwea res­i­dents protest over land

Ti­tles have been is­sued but the more than 10,000 in­hab­i­tants did not ben­e­fit

The Star (Kenya) - - Counties - REUBEN GITHINJI @TheS­tarKenya

Hun­dreds of Mbeere South sub­county res­i­dents on Wed­nes­day protested against a de­ci­sion to al­lo­cate the Mwea Set­tle­ment Scheme to “out­siders” de­spite their hav­ing lived there for 40 years.

The res­i­dents said they have de­vel­oped the land to the ex­tent of build­ing per­ma­nent houses, plant­ing trees, schools, churches and pre­par­ing farms. They said most of the 7,232 ben­e­fi­cia­ries are not from the county.

Led by Silus Muringe, Paul Ngau, Jerver­son Njue, Michael Muringe, Pas­tor Boni­face Ki­eti and Ann Muthee, the lo­cals said only a very small per­cent­age of the squat­ters have been given a share of the land.

Muringe said ti­tles have been is­sued but the more than 10,000 in­hab­i­tants did not ben­e­fit.

“If we are told to move, we have nowhere else to go. The way this land has been dis­trib­uted has fanned a con­flict be­tween the two groups be­cause we don’t know where to go or what to do,” Muringe said.

Muringe said there was an agree­ment that the land ad­ju­di­ca­tion sec­tions of Wa­choro, Makima, Karaba Gategi and Ri­akanau first be is­sued with ti­tles and those who would not get a par­cel and those the set­tle­ment schemes would be given land in Mwea.

Embu Land ex­ec­u­tive Josphat Kithumbu said the Na­tional Land Com­mis­sion and the Embu county gov­ern­ment reached an agree­ment on how the land should be di­vided among the in­ter­ested par­ties through an outof-court set­tle­ment.

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