NLC mediates between Angaine family, squatters over 2,400 acres

Some of the squatters in the 2,400 acres of land owned by the Jackson Angaine family and which National Land Commission (NLC) ruled should revert to the squatters.

Photo credit: File

The National Land Commission (NLC) has revisited a historical land injustice case where 2,400 acres of land at Ontulili in Timau, Meru County, was claimed by the family of the late powerful Cabinet Minister Jackson Angaine and some 1,435 squatters.

The case was referred to NLC by the Environment and Land Court in 2019.

The squatters claimed that they had been allocated the land by founding President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta in 1975 but it was allegedly grabbed by the late Angaine.

In a Kenya Gazette notice published on March 1, 2019, NLC ruled that the squatters were the rightful owners of the land.

“The Commission noted that the land in question was excised from the forest to benefit the squatters. The commission recommends that the chief land registrar reverts the land to the claimants,” NLC said.

“Alternatively, the family of the late Angaine should give the claimants alternative land of equal size and value. The chief land registrar registers the land in the name of the squatters and they should be settled with the assistance of the director of land adjudication and the director of surveys.”

The matter was later returned to NLC by the Environment and Land Court the same year.

This is after the Angaine family challenged the ruling, arguing that they were not involved in the hearings before the matter was concluded.

Some claims

Last week, NLC, led by member James Tuitoek, visited the site to assess the land.

“The matter was referred to us by the court on some claims on the piece of land. We listened to two witnesses and we require more time to conclude this hearing,” Prof Tuitoek said.

“We did a site visit so that we (could) get an appreciation of what type of land we are looking at and who is occupying it at the moment. The court expects us to finish this matter by July this year.”

Prof Tuitoek was joined by NLC members Esther Murugi, Tiyah Galgalo and Hubbie Hussein and director of legal affairs Brian Ikol.

Prof Tuitoek said NLC was working around the clock to expedite 3,665 claims of historical land injustices.

NLC had asked the public to file their cases as of September 21 last year. Upon analysing them, the agency established that a total of 3,665 had been submitted since 2017.

Prof Tuitoek, who is also the chairman of the historical land injustices committee, said they were analysing the claims to determine whether they are admissible.

“According to the law, cases of historical land injustices are supposed to be received, admitted, investigated and determined. A majority of the cases that we received last year are yet to be admitted but there is a checklist of admitting them procedurally,” Prof Tuitoiek told the media in Nanyuki.

“One of the procedures is that the claims must have occurred between 1895 and 2010. Anything outside that timeline is not considered a historical land injustice. The commission decided to be innovative to speed up expediting the cases faster because that number is huge,” he added.