Lands body probing forceful Naivasha evictions

National Land Commission Chairman Mohammed Swazuri. Photo/ FILE

National Land Commission Chairman Mohammed Swazuri. Photo/ FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 30 – The National Land Commission (NLC) has launched investigations over the recent forceful eviction and destruction of property at Narasha village in Naivasha.

Chairman Mohammed Swazuri stated that a team from his office will be dispatched to the area to assess the situation and possibly recommend prosecution for those behind the eviction.

Swazuri said that the team has already been constituted and will be deployed immediately once calm is restored in the area.

“We are still gathering the facts about Narasha area, Olkaria. We are empowered by law to facilitate dialogue between the groups that are in contention. This is under Section 160 sub-Article two which gives the commission the mandate to negotiate on behalf of the parties. I think we can do that once the temperatures have cooled down,” he stated.

Speaking in Mombasa, Swazuri also condemned the evictions on the disputed piece of land, where a group armed with crude weapons under the protection of police officers torched houses in a bid to kick out families from the land.

“We only want to appeal to all the parties involved there to hold on to their peace. It is not possible to say that police were overseeing the evictions if you do not have the facts. Obviously there were people in uniform there and we need to establish whether they were policeman or not. That is why I am saying that we need to get the facts straight,” he said.

In the meantime, power generating company KenGen has now sought to clarify that it is not behind the evictions in the area.

In a statement in the local dailies, the company said Narasha and the greater Olomayiana Kubwa are not part of the land where it is prospecting for steam.

It stated that it is in the process of drilling wells in the land next to its current projects with the consent of all land owners.

The statement further indicated that the company is at the moment carrying out confirmatory drilling and has not yet reached the stage of purchase of the land.

It indicated that KenGen has an obligation to ensure that such an exercise is carried out in accordance with the law.

Last week Maasai families living in a section of a disputed plot in Ng’ati farm, Naivasha were evicted by people believed to be policemen.

The armed officers demolished houses early in the morning in Narasha village and torched others as residents watched from a distance.

The officers, who were acting on a court order, brought down all structures on the 3,000 acres with warning to the families to keep off.

Emotions run high as some of the women and their children broke into tears saying that they knew no other home.

The families added that they had not been served with an eviction notice and accused the armed officers of using excessive force to evict them.