Kilifi politicians among owners of disputed ADC Sabaki land

Protestors outside Malindi Police Station where they had gathered to demand release of of the 40 arrested over ADC land invasion last year.Two Kilifi politicians have been linked to the ownership of the disputed land COURTESY

Two Kilifi politicians have been linked to the irregular acquisition of the disputed land at the Agricultural Development Corporation at Kisiwani firm in Sabaki area, Magarini Sub County.

This is according to a document in possession of the National Assembly committee on Agriculture.

The two are former Ganze MP Francis Baya and his predecessor Katana Ngala  who own 10  and 18 acres respectively.

Sabaki MCA arrested over invasion of 900 acre land in Kilifi

In the latest revelation, the former politicians colluded with allies close to the Moi family and shared among themselves 470 acres of land out of the original 900 acres.

Dubai based Mombasa politician Sajjad Rashid has also been named in the document which states he owns 15 acres of the land.

Other prominent names that have appeared among the 200 beneficiaries include former cabinet ministers Simeon Nyachae who got 17.8 acres, and Kipkalya Kones who got 25.2 acre and Katana Ngala who got 18 acres.

Others include former CID director Francis Sang who owns 5 acres, former Maendeleo ya Wanawake chairperson Zipporah Kittony who owns 5 acres, former Kenya Seed company managing director Nathaniel Tum who owns 55acres, Ezekiel Barngetuny  owns 14 acres, Dr. Frank Mwongera owns 10 acres, Moi’s aide de camp Alexander Sitienei who owns 5 acres and  former Director of Public Prosecutions Pamela Kidula who owns 5 acres.

Magarini MP Michael Kingi had presented a petitioned on behalf of Sabaki residents to parliament where the revelation cropped up that the ADC land was purchased in 1976 at a cost of Sh. 1.3 million exactly 11 years after the corporation was established through an act of parliament in 1965.

The allocations continued in the 1990’s which saw many other powerful government officials get land and ADC permanently losing ownership a move that has until today pitted ADC against the residents of Sabaki.

Agriculture chief administrative secretary Andrew Tuimur who appeared before the National assembly agriculture committee on Wednesday failed to name powerful KANU stalwarts who acquired the 470-acre parcel of land.

Tuimur stated that the powerful individuals served in both President’s Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Moi’s governments and they were allocated the prime land at the expense of the local community which has been relegated to squatters on their own land.

“We don’t have title deed for that farm it is in people’s hands or companies’ hands so we are just basically also like squatters there,” said Tuimur.

The Coast regional managing director of ADC Mohamed Bule said that efforts to reclaim the land were futile since they lacked ownership documents for the land even saying that the Kisiwani farm offices had been sold out and that they were also squatters.

“On several occasions we have invited the police but they are always on the side of the title holder, sometimes the police told us unless we have an eviction order from the court their hands are also tied,” said Mohamed Bule.

Kingi said that he will use everything possible to ensure that the land is reverted back to its original use or allocated to thousands of squatters in Sabaki.

“Even if corruption started long time ago and it is said there was no board resolution to sale the land. If it is peoples’ land you sold let them continue occupying it and let anyone with a title deed come and tell us how he acquired it,” said Kingi.

Earlier in the year, area member of County Assembly Edward Dele led more than 1,000 squatters to invade the land and had even started subdividing it before police arrived and arrested more than forty people.

The residents who claim to have been evicted from the land in 1965 had demanded that they be resettled and the current title deeds revoked.

Stembo Kaviha, a resident and human rights defender said that four decade tussle with ADC over the land had led to loss of life in the past and that a solution needed to be made.

“We have a lot of pain because the government offices have never been of help,” he said.

Laikipia County women representative Catherine Waruguru said that the ADC land had been grabbed everywhere in the country and that it was time the government revoked the title deeds and resettled the squatters.

“This is a picture of what exactly is happening in places like Mutarara in Laikipia where we have ADC farms already belonging to the hands of private companies and individuals ,” Waruguru.