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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Western state boss warns Oparanya on town replanning attempt

Western regional co-coordinator Joseph ole Serian has warned the Kakamega county government to immediately stop attempts to re-plan Mumias town for fear of violence.
In a letter dated February 18 2014 and addressed to Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya, the RC dismisses as suspicious activities by the land executive Suleiman Sumba on the disputed parcels or land in Mumias triangle. “There has been a longstanding land dispute in Mumias town where different attempts were made to resolve them by former leaders in the provincial administration and politicians to no avail,” reads the letter.
 “Several Muslim leaders came to my office to lodge a complaint against your lands executive  Suleiman Sumba saying he has been sending surveyors to the disputed plots to replan and this is not in their interest but the interest of  your minister,” says the letter.
The letter copied to Mumias sub county administrators and the DC claim elders had visited him with claims that Sumba is one of the interested parties involved in a pending case in court related to the dispute and that they showed him maps, allotment letters and correspondences regarding the disputed land.
The administrator further asks Governor Oparanya to involve the local leaders and plot owners and the central government in attempts to deal with the land issue and warns of “real danger of violence occurring sooner or later unless Sumba stops the suspicious survey he is currently undertaking”.
The National Lands Commission has also rapped the county government. In a letter to the governor, Mohammed Swazuri the chairman ordered stoppage in replanning of the town.
The letter claims foul play in the exercise by Sumba adding that a delegation of elders had gone to his office to air their concerns against the activities of the county minister on the plots.
The NLC boss says the activities were “foul and aimed at planting disharmony and disunity amongst the otherwise peaceful residents and occupants of the plots”.
The letter copied to the director of physical planning and the lands office in Kakamega states that NLC must be involved in all oversight activities on land in the country.
A county letter dated October 30 2013 to all sub county administrators in Mumias orders  occupants of the land to “put on hold any kind of development and construction within the triangle area until re-planning is concluded”.
The letter states “surveyors and physical planners are to visit the site and map out the area and carry out re-planning”.
Sumba was rewarded with the post on Oparanya’s cabinet after he stepped down for Oparanya in the last gubernatorial seat. Sumba was recently heckled by land owners and could not address a meeting convened by the governor over the dispute.