Garissa leaders decry grabbing of community land

Balambala Member of Parliament Abdikadir Aden
Balambala Member of Parliament Abdikadir Aden

Political leaders in Garissa County have threatened to move to court to stop the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) from further fencing off community land.

Speaking to journalists at Modika, Garissa Members of the County Assembly (MCAs) said the move was an infringement on their right to ownership of the 40 square kilometer land situated between Modika and Garissa Town.

Balambala Member of Parliament Abdikadir Aden speaking on phone said: “I am deeply concerned about the ‘grabbing’ of the land by KDF in this constituency.”

He added that the land was community land and said it was unacceptable for anyone to take any land without consultation.

Aden called upon the KDF to immediately stop what he termed as an ‘illegal act’, saying that local leaders will consider moving to court next week to seek redress for infringement of their right.

On his part, Sankuri MCA Abdiwahab Suleiman said: “Local residents one day woke up to vehicles ferrying materials for fencing the land while land marks had been placed before the work started in earnest without consultation with the local residents and their leaders.”

Suleiman said they have engaged all relevant government agencies to know who was behind the said projects, adding that they got information the land was set aside for the construction of a military barracks.

The MCA also noted that they cannot afford to lose the land since it is where pastoralists graze their livestock and has water points.

“The KDF has been allocated land which is between Modika and Garissa Town and they should not be allowed to take community land which is a lifeline for pastoralists,” said Suleiman.

His counterpart from Jarajila, Mahat Osman clarified that the electric fence that was put up in the area is a risk to locals and their livestock, noting that taking huge chunks of land without the knowledge of locals is impunity that needs to stop.

By Amos Sambu / Written by Jemimah Gathoni  

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