Mombasa, KENYA: Armed Administration police officers,officers from lands,surveyors and chiefs were Friday forced to flee for their safety after angry residents of Shika Adabu in Likoni sub-county attacked them.
The government officials had to flee in their vehicles as the irate residents chased them away from the area chanting wezi wa mashamba,wezi wa mashamba (loosely translated as Land thieves.).
They had started throwing stones as others threatened to set their vehicles ablaze.
The over 200 residents who claimed to be the owners of the 165 hectares of land situated in between Mombasa and Kwale county border, claimed that the area chief and some government officials colluded with land cartels to survey their land for their benefit.
Efforts by the chiefs to contain the angry residents were fruitless.
They threatened to snatch weapons from the armed police officers who had ran away and boarded their vehicles before speeding off.
Troubled started at around 10 am when a fleet of government vehicles arrived in the area all branded.
The officials who have been surveying the land for the last two weeks, said they were acting on a government directive.
Mr. Ali Mwashaka Hassan their spokesperson, claimed that they have lived in the area for the past 50 years.
He said that they had earlier elected a committee to represent them during the survey period of the land, in conjunction with officials from land Ministry,but they were perturbed when the names they had forwarded were missing during the exercise.
He said they had rejected the committee which had been elected before terming them as corrupt.
He said they elected new members in the presence of the deputy county commissioner.
“We will not at anytime allow them to survey nor set foot on our land,”said Mwashaka.
Likoni deputy county commissioner Albert Kimathi warned the residents to keep off from land cartels who are using them to sabotage the government’s move to survey the land.
Addressing reporters at his office in Vijiweni Likoni sub county, he said the move was to benefit the common wananchi who have been living in the area without title deeds.
‘’We agree with the local residents that there was going to be a survey,those who tried to stop the exercise are some elements who are working with cartels but their time is over.We will continue with the exercise said,’ Mr. Kimathi.