What you need to know:
- While the victims sought asylum in neighbouring Bulapesa, the over 50 attackers continued with the demolitions.
- The goons walked away with household items worth hundreds of thousands of shillings.
- Residents claimed that some influential persons and local politicians are behind the scheme to throw them out.
- They accused the Isiolo County government of delaying the issuance of title deeds to protect them from land grabbers.
Tension is high in Golan village on the outskirts of Isiolo town after a group of armed youths demolished 10 houses following a protracted land dispute.
The youths, armed with crude weapons, raided the 10-acre land occupied by over 50 women and brought down the timber houses and other structures whose construction was underway, forcing the residents to scamper for safety.
While the victims sought asylum in neighbouring Bulapesa, the over 50 attackers continued with the demolitions and then walk away with household items worth hundreds of thousands of shillings.
Ms Jane Ntinyari, one of the victims, was doing some domestic chores when she saw the group of youths approaching and ran away to save her life.
“They had pangas and rungu and came threatening to kill us. I immediately alerted those who were still in the house and we ran for our dear lives,” said Ms Ntinyari.
“We build, they demolish. Until when will this continue?” she posed.
Ms Naima Mohammed, 63, lamented over the frequent attacks in the area perpetrated by hired goons, saying it is frustrating development as they cannot build permanent structures for fear of them being demolished.
She said it is unfortunate that security organs are reluctant to beef up security in the village that neighbours Pepo La Tumaini Primary school.
“We always ran away due to insecurity and fear developing permanent structures as they will be demolished as has happened before,” she said.
The residents claimed that some influential persons and local politicians are behind the scheme to throw them out of their ancestral land where they have even buried their loved ones.
While lashing out at police over delays to arrest those involved, Ms Halima Zuberi said the Thursday attack was the fifth in span of four months.
“I was at work when I was notified that our houses have been demolished. I do not know where I will spend the night. It is so inhumane that police do not respond despite us reporting the frequent raids,” said Ms Zuberi.
Mr Hassan Said, who inherited the land from his grandmother, said it is unfortunate that they are living in fear on land they have known as home for over 25 years.
“There is a time Kenyan soldiers came and assisted us level and cultivate the land and I have personally been living here for 27 years and I have no other home,” said the distraught Said.
The disgruntled residents accused the Isiolo County government of delaying the issuance of title deeds to protect them from land grabbers.
Ms Joanina M’Mai, 60, said they are the rightful owners of the land and know each other and that they will not allow anyone to evict them from their properties.
“We are wondering where the leaders we elected are. It is unfortunate the county government has been mute despite knowing the plight we continue to go through,” said Ms M’Mai.
Isiolo Sub-County Police Commander George Kariuki said officers had been deployed at the area to beef up security and that investigations into the matter had been commenced.
The police boss said the victims had forwarded some names of people suspected to be involved in the attacks and assured the victims that legal action will be taken against the attackers.
“We are following up the matter and stern action will be taken against those involved. Our officers will continue ensuring security in the area to prevent any altercation over the dispute so that there is no violence,” said Mr Kariuki.