Farmer accuse Defence ministry of land grabbing


Cows at a farm. Rumuruti Farmers Company have accused the Kenya Army of grabbing their 3,105 acres of land in Gilgil. file photo | nmg

The Ministry of Defence is on the spot after 240 Nakuru residents moved to court accusing the Kenya Army of encroaching on their parcels.

The residents, who are members of the Rumuruti Farmers Company, have accused the Kenya Army of grabbing their 3,105 acres of land in Gilgil.

On Friday, they filed a case before the Land court in Nakuru against Interior Cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaiserry, his defence counterpart Ms Rachael Omamo, Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe and General Commander Kenya Army General Leonard Muriuki.

The farmers have petitioned the court to stop the Kenya Army from interfering with the ownership and use of the land, registered as Gilgil-Karunga Block 9, pending hearing and determination of the matter.

Not aware

Through their lawyer Mr Kipkoech Ng’etich, the group told the court they had not sold the land to the Kenya Army and were not aware of any acquisition process of the same by the ministry.

“The respondents being the policy makers have and in charge of the Kenya Army have made a decision to erect permanent buildings and have also erected a perimeter wall forcing the farmers out of the land,” Mr Ng’etich told the court.

The farmers want the government compelled to compensate them the losses they incurred during evictions.

They also want to be compensated Sh1 million for each acre acquired by the Kenya Army.

“We request the court to order for an immediate restitution of our land that was illegally appropriated to the Kenya Army,” read part of the application.

Public use

However, in its reply through its lawyer, the State defended the Ministry of Defence saying the government had issued a gazette notice indicating its intention to acquire the land for public use.

This was dismissed by Mr Ngetich, who said the State did not specify how it intended to use the land.

The court gave the farmers 14 days to amend their petition to include the individual title deeds.