Government cautions people against encroaching on KDF land

The government has cautioned people encroaching on Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) land in Isiolo that such action will not be condoned.

The Isiolo Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Chaunga Mwachaunga said the encroachers who are claiming to be landless should seek alternative land from the county government.

The DCC said his investigations had revealed that those claiming to own the land only came recently and were encroaching on KDF land.

The administrator who was speaking to reporters in his office Wednesday said the stand taken by KDF who swung into action to prevent the encroachers from subdividing their land is justified and challenged those claiming to be landless to seek alternative land from the county government.

On Saturday last week I received reports from the area chief that a big number of people from Naivasha, Gilgil, Nakuru and even Isiolo had invaded KDF land and were subdividing it among themselves. I told them to stop as I went to listen to them, said Mwachaunga.

He said he mobilized the security team and on arrival at the scene found about 150 people armed with crude weapons who claimed that the land belonged to them since 2000 after being evacuated from other areas as far as Nakuru.

I told them to form a small committee to come to my office today for further discussions with KDF representatives and after listening to both parties it came out clear that the land belongs to KDF, said Mwachaunga.

He said he advised the people to seek for alternative land through county government rather than fighting that which was allocated to KDF.

The residents are however complaining about what they described as bias by the DCC, saying he was favoring KDF to force them leave their land.

A resident, Ms. Amina Isaak said she has lived on her piece of land since 2000 and has currently cultivated and built structures on it.

Last week KDF officers came to the place and we differed over ownership. We called the county Commissioner and the OCPD who said we should meet here today at 9.00 am, said Ms. Isaak further lamenting that during the meeting which had a KDF representative the DCC sided with the soldiers.

She said the DCC said the land belongs to KDF and if they are found there, they will be shot yet they had cultivated the land. They wondered how they will harvest their crops while receiving death threats.

If that land belongs to the government, who do we belong to? exclaimed Ms. Isaak.

Another resident who claimed to be the chairman of the area Wako Diba said KDF should restrict themselves within their fenced area and leave them to continue cultivating their land.

Our whole livelihood depends on cultivation of our land and we are surprised that the DC and the KDF are telling us off now, said Mr. Diba who claims to have lived in the area since 1974.

Similar sentiments were echoed by another resident, Ms. Abdia Mohamed who said by telling them that KDF had a title deed for the said land, the DCC was not honest because the whole of Isiolo County was community land.

The DC told us to seek audience with the governor and we are not leaving this place before we see him because we are not sure whether it is actually KDF or senior officers who have personal interests in the land, concluded Ms. Mohamed.

Source: Kenya News Agency