Former Taveta Mp Hon. Bazil Criticos denied allegations of grabbing the historical Salaita hill.
This follows the conflict between himself and locals who have accused him of grabbing and fencing off the historical site.
Speaking on Thursday, Mr. Criticos said he acquired the title deed of the land in 1994.
“I decided to fence Salaita Hill which is a historical site after realizing that some locals had encroached the land and taken away some of the artifacts.” Mr. Basil said.
The Salaita Hill is located along Mwatate-Holili road 5km from Taveta town.
The site which was a clash between German and British soldiers during WW1 was established as a tourism site which is frequented by both local and foreign tourists.
However, according to locals, the site is now inaccessible after Mr. Basil fenced it off as private land.
This is despite Mr. Basil claiming that the land was accessible.
The residents lead by Raphael Mesula an elder from Mahoo village accuse Mr. Basil of orchestrating a scheme to ensure he benefits from the revenue generated by the site.
“We suspect he is looking for some share of revenue collected from the site unlawfully because a few years ago, the county government together with the national government organized celebrations to mark 100 years after WW1 and nobody claimed he/she has documents of ownership to the place.”Elder Mesula claimed.
Taveta Human rights Representative Mr. Kelly Aduo condemned the former Taveta Mp urging the Ministry of Heritage and sports to list down historical sites in Kenya and acquire title deeds for the sites.
“As locals, we will not accept grabbing of community lands by few people claiming to be investors especially land belonging to the Museum. The National Museum and Ministry of sports, Heritage and Culture should take up the matter and ensure they protect the museum from selfish people calling themselves investors.” Mr. Aduo said.
The locals have now written to the authorities and their local leaders seeking to have Mr. Bazil blocked from claiming ownership of the disputed hill.
This comes just a few years after the National Museum listed 15 World War Memorial sites among them Salaita hill for preservation.
There are more than 100 World War memorial sites in Kenya however, majority of them are yet to be recognized by the National Museums of Kenya.