Family seeks compensation for 9.8 acres of land illegally acquired by public school

Family land dispute

Mr Said Hussein (R) and Ismail Abdalla, sons of late J.P Da Costa who February 28, 2023 asked President William Ruto to intervene into irregular award of their 9.88 acre of land to Butiye Primary school in Moyale and help them an alternative land. 

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu I Nation Media Group

A family in Marsabit has petitioned President William Ruto to help them get compensated for their 9.88 acres of land within Moyale Township that was irregularly awarded to Butiye Primary school more than 30 years ago.

Sons of the late J P Da Costa who was allocated the land in 1939 want the family to be given an alternative and equal portion of land within the Moyale airstrip even as unconfirmed reports indicated that the county government intended to give them land elsewhere.

The allocation of the land to the school that now hosts Butiye Mixed Day Secondary and other public utilities, Mr Said Hussein, one of the sons, said, had exposed them, their children and grandchildren to inexplicable suffering.

The dispute saw the family escalate the matter to the National Land Commission, which in January 2018 through a letter Ref: NLC/CHAIRMAN/VOL.XXI/124 asked Governor Ali Mohammud to allocate Mr Hussein alternative land.

“Mr Hussein has been following up the matter for quite some time … This is to formally request you to place him somewhere as compensation for his land that was used to build Butiye primary. He seems to have identified some land next to the old airstrip,” the letter by then NLC Chair Mohammed Swazuri read.

The county land department had on June 22, 2017 asked the Moyale town administrator to liaise with the Moyale township ward counterpart in identifying possible sites in Butiye for the family’s reallocation of four hectares.

The decision had been arrived at following a previous meeting at the school where education stakeholders resolved that the land could not be reverted back and therefore the complainant be given an alternative land or be compensated by NLC.

Butiye Primary

Butiye Primary School in Moyale, Marsabit that rests on 9.88 acre land that previously belonged to the family of J.P Da Costa that is seeking to be allocated alternative land by the county government.

Photo credit: Waweru Wairimu I Nation Media Group

The family had, prior to writing to NLC in a letter Ref: NLC/CHAIRMAN/VOL.XVI 1/290 in 2016, raised the matter with the administration department and the county council.

“… a meeting was held at the school where it was resolved that the land currently occupied by the public institution could not be reverted back to the previous owner and that Mr Hussein should be given an alternative land,” the letter by then Land Chief officer Alex Ali Guleid read in part.

The letter was referenced MBT/CG/LANDS/CRP/Vol. I 1/28/2017.

Addressing journalists in Isiolo town, the 63-year-old Mr Hussein, who uses crutches, lamented over the delay by the county government to honour the request and asked the governor to expedite the process.

“We are living on the same plot with our children in Isiolo and appeal to President Ruto and Marsabit Governor to help us get alternative land near the airstrip within the Kenya-Ethiopia border,” he appealed.

Accompanied by his elder brother Ismail Abdalla, Mr Hussein said he had been unable to follow up the issue in the last four years due to his poor health.