Land-grabbers invade Moi aide farm, allocate themselves plots

Agricultural Training College land

A damaged fence at the parcel of land belonging to Agricultural Training College in Nakuru City that had been grabbed by private developers in January last year. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Fear has gripped landowners in Naivasha following reports of increased land invasions in the Ndabibi area by squatters allegedly from Njoro.

In a seemingly well-orchestrated scheme, criminal gangs have been invading private land, allocating themselves plots, and proceeding to plant their crops on the properties illegally.

Some have even gone ahead to lease out grabbed land to third parties. Naivasha Deputy County Commissioner Kisilu Mutua has now issued a warning to the gangs, saying, they will be arrested and prosecuted.

“Our message is very clear; it is either you produce authentic papers showing ownership or leave,” said the administrator.

The group is said to have invaded land belonging to a high-ranking government official in former President Daniel Arap Moi’s administration, Mr Benjamin Kipkulei. Mr Kipkulei’s property has been the target of perennial invasions despite efforts by law enforcers to keep the invaders at bay. The encroachment is largely driven by the agricultural potential of land in the area with farmers enjoying bumper harvests.

“Land-grabbing cartels are making millions leasing land belonging to individuals to gullible farmers,” said the source.

But Mr Mutua yesterday sought to assure genuine landowners that their properties would be protected.

“If anyone has rented a farm, they must produce a lease agreement. We cannot allow the rule of the jungle to reign supreme,” warned the administrator.

Former Governor Lee Kinyanjui had in 2021 embarked on a verification process aimed at establishing the real owners of the Agricultural Development Corporation (ADC) land in Ndabibi.

The devolved unit called for the submission of relevant documents to facilitate the issuance of title deeds, including copies of sale or purchase agreements, national identity cards, receipts for payments and any other related documents.

The audit, whose outcome is yet to be made public, was aimed at bringing to an end protracted land disputes that had dogged the allocation process for more than two decades.

At the time, at least 100 squatters had raided a private farm belonging to Mr Kipkulei.

The group, which claimed to have lived in the area for more than 40 years, l uprooted a three-kilometre fence erected by another private developer.