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Man about town

Josphat eyes family farm after land talks hit a snag eye

 

The last couple of weekends have been super busy-because we have decided we are looking for a family farm.

There is a part of me that has been hoping that my father will come around and make the decision about our land and sub-divide it but that has not been forthcoming.

During the Christmas holiday, I broached the subject to my parents as I mentioned the recent land disputes in our village. I told them, “given what we have been seeing around here, we need to continue with the land discussion, which has been pending.”

My father seemed to be okay with the discussion and he said: “I have been wanting to see a lawyer about this issue, but I have no money.”

One of the things that constantly puzzles me about my parents is how they are ‘forever broke’ that is despite having cows and growing tea.

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I was taken aback by my mother’s comments as she asked, “why do you want us to discuss land? Are you wishing death upon us?” I told her, “no way, we had had an initial discussion with my father, my siblings and some wazees and agreed that it is okay to have the shamba sub-divided.”

This really ticked my mother off and she threw a mighty tantrum claiming that “any shamba discussion will happen over my dead body.”

We realised that we would not make any headway in this talk, so I told my mother, “we do not want to make you uncomfortable so let us just not talk about it.”

When we got back to the city, I shared some of my sentiments with Shiro.

I told her, “I had hoped we can set up our family farm in our village but my plans have been thwarted.

She started giving me grief by saying, “when were you going to tell me about becoming a village farmer?”

school fees

Shiro responds to numbers and I said, “I was looking at it as an opportunity to save money, why spend money on a farm when we can inherit?” I had to work up some numbers to demonstrate my point and this seemed to win her over.

A few days later Shiro came to me and says, “I have been thinking about what you said, and I agree we need to look for a family farm before the kids’ school fees get impossible.”

We then spent a number of hours working the numbers as we finally landed on land budget and places where we can look for land.

Finally, we settled on three places, which would work for us.

So, over the last couple of weeks, I have been following certain leads on land most of them coming through ‘brokers’ who exaggerate details about the land. At the end of each visit, I Skype Shiro and discuss the pros and cons of the land.

Shiro always has some interesting views — she was telling me that we “need to conduct soil tests on these parcels of land before we put our money lest they sell us useless land.” I was tickled by how Shiro has embraced this project and how much research she is putting into it despite being so far.

project loans

So, after my visits, we finally agreed on buying a parcel of land in Kinangop.

We decided that I should take a sacco loan and not touch our savings.

The process of securing guarantees has been quite torturous.

Over the past five years, I have guaranteed several of my colleagues as they secure loans for all manner of projects.

However, only one person has offered to guarantee me coming up with all manner of excuses some saying they have guaranteed too many people or asking me for more time.

In the meantime, the broker in charge of selling the land has been calling me on an hourly basis saying, “you need to pay for this land or I will get someone else to buy it.” Something has to give, I cannot afford to miss out on this land.

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