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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 2 November 2014

TRANS NZOIA ELDERS FEAR THEY WILL DIE BEFORE GETTING THEIR LAND

Three elders in Trans Nzoia county who were robbed 600 acres of land due illiteracy have appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to assist them to get back their land before they die.
The elders William Kuto (95), Kimagut Muigei (95) and Dickson Tuwei (85) said that they were conned their 600 acres of land in Chepchoina farm in 1970s by their late secretary Micah Shikule without their knowledge.
 Also being petitioned is Lands minister Charity Ngilu and Mohammed Swazuri of National Lands Commission.
Speaking to Weekly Citizen, the elders said that they jointly bought the land from Agricultural Development Corporation at Sh 176,000 with the late Shikule who was the company’s secretary.
They said that according to the records, Shikule who was also a former lands officer took advantage of their illiteracy and obtained ownership of the 600 acres of land LR No 8164 in his name.
They said that the members rewarded Shikule with 100 acres of land when he assisted them to register the parcel noting that when the land was purchased, they did not settle in it immediately because it was leased to Kenya Seed Company as they waited to raise the balance.
Kuto who is the spokesman of the company said that the late Shikule sold the land to the late Joseph Kezia and his wife displacing them and his other 152 newly recruited members.
They said that the land was registered in the name of (KUSHIM)  meaning Kuto, Shikule and Muigei) but it remained having the same No 8164. He later changed it on his referenced letter No L/1971/285 which were transferred through Ransley Philip Advocates.
“Shikule registered the land in his name without our knowledge and sold it to Joseph Kezia a former lecturer who was in London by that time,” Kuto said.
He said that after making the transactions, Shikule kept hiding from other members as they tried to get the truth on the matter of their land.
“We later met him and he declared that we had no land claiming that the only thing he could do for us was to refund our money,” Kuto said adding that they reported the matter to then district officer of Saboti division.
Kuto said that the DO wrote a letter ref: PT 9/1/Vol 1/27 dated on 10-3-1980 to Shikule summoning him to his office in order to explain what had transpired over the land in dispute.
Kuto further said that they went to Trans Nzoia Land Control Board on June 12 1980 at Kenya Farmers Association Kitale before proceeding up to Rift Valley Land Control Board.
He said that after hearing the case, the principal commission wrote a letter to the acting Trans Nzoia DC Mutua Kaluka instructing him that the members should be given back their portion as per letter ref: T&C6/6/1/1Vol.XV1/112 dated 11/12/1984 but all has been in vain to date.
It was revealed that on February 27 1985 the members went for arbitration meeting at the district commissioner’s office in Kitale where it was agreed that although Shikule had conned them, they should accept him back as their member but the land should be subdivided by six to enable him get 100 acres of land.
Kuto said that when Shikule realised that he was on the wrong, he sold the 600 acres of land to Joseph Kezia and Kezia Kakai adding that the two sued the members after receiving ownership of the land as per civil case 207 of 1983.
“I received a letter ref: LND 16/1/1/VOLXLV1/ (56)  dated September 5 2009 advising the DC Trans Nzoia to settle them in the land  and later lodged a case in court against Joseph Kezia Kakai who is the partner in the disputed property.
Some of the senior government officers who were informed about the matter since it began in 1970s include former permanent secretary in the ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, former director of CID Noah Arap Too, anti corruption and former Rift Valley provincial commissioner Yusuf Haji and Lands registrar.
Others were former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and William Ruto when he took over the office after the 2013 general elections.
Investigations carried out by Weekly Citizen revealed that the 600 acres of land has been sold to the government and already more than 2, 000 IDPs have been settled there despite the fact that the matter is still in court.