Residents accuse government officials of land grabbing

Angry residents clashing with police in Likoni. photo:file

Mombasa, KENYA: A section of Residents of punguvila settlement scheme in Likoni have called on the National Land Commission chairman Mohammed Swazuri and his team to investigate claims that some  government officials have grabbed their land.

One of the suspect was also arrested on Monday by CID officers and taken to Likoni police station where he was grilled over claims that he has been selling pieces of lands to unsuspecting business people.

The residents living on the over 500 acres, alleged that some of the officials in the ministry of lands and the surveyors are subdividing their ancestral land which is against their norms.

They said the exercise which has been going on since the start of the year, has been marred with corruption incidences where by a piece of land is being subdivided among the family members and one has to abide  without questioning.

Mwinyi Mohammed one of the resident who owns a one acre piece of land, said his land was sub divided among two of his brothers each a quarter piece and they were told that the remaining would be used for roads and other recreational facilities.

“How can the surveyors subdivide the family land, theirs is to survey,create section for roads,division of pieces of land are left for family members,” said Mr Mohammed.

A police officer aware of suspected land dealer told Baraka FM the suspect has been extorting thousands of shillings in the name of selling land to them.

Processes of getting fingerprints from him was on going by Monday afternoon and he was likely to be arraigned in court by Tuesday, added the source.

The NLC chairman Mohammed Swazuri was scheduled to have a meeting with the residents of the controversial land, but was later communicated that he was held up in another meeting in Nairobi.

Late December, angry residents chased away the surveyors and police who had been called to accompany the surveyors.

They had threatened to raze down their vehicles as they were protesting over the survey exercise saying it was not legal.