Syokimau residents face eviction from company land

Syokimau residents have protested eviction

Syokimau residents are now calling upon Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua to come to their rescue over land dispute cases.

Led by the chairman of Kathama Welfare Peter Mwandia and Pius Musembi, the chairman of Mavoko Syokimau Association, the residents vowed not to move from the disputed land until the outstanding issues are resolved.

In a letter dated November 13, 2015, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua had requested the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to investigate cases of land grabbing of the East African Portland Cement Company limited land situated in Mavoko.

Mutua added that he had consulted board members of the East African Portland Cement Company Limited, the National Land Commission and Machakos County officers.

According to the letter, Mutua said that 13,000 acres of land had been grabbed and among those listed as land grabbers were Member of Parliament Patrick Makau.

Others such as Mary Wambua, a resident, also appeared in the land grabbing list.

However, Wambua said that she occupied the land in 2010 and has since called the place her home noting that she had been told to guard the land by Portland cement.

As for those interested in buying the land they were advised to form small groups so as to purchase the land and develop it.

Tabitha Mwelu, another resident, added that she occupied the land in 2010 and did as they were told by forming the groups and started to build houses through contributions.

Kimatu Mutuku and Ann Mwikali, who are also occupants of the land, wondered what to do saying they have nowhere else to go if they are evicted.

The future of more than 3,600 squatters living in the controversial Skov farm in Tipis, Mau Narok also hangs in the balance after the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) said they did not recognize their claim of the land.

ADC board chairman Musa Sirma said the corporation did not recognise the squatters who now claim to have lived on the land for the past 47 years.

Sirma, who was accompanied by ADC officers and National Land Commission (NLC) representative in Nakuru Frank Kiberekenya, further alluded that the corporation could not allow the squatters to settle on a piece of land reserved for agricultural purposes.

On his part, Kiberekenya warned the squatters against encroaching on the land saying that the National Land Commission will continue to protect public land.

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Story By Gathoni Jemimah
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