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Police accused of grabbing land

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 24 – The Kenya police force has been accused of grabbing a parcel of land in Langata allegedly belonging to a self help group and putting up a police post on it.

The Wilson Mutumba Women’s Group through secretary Isaac Mburu, pointed an accusing finger at the force saying that they evicted them from their land despite the fact that a court’s ruling declared them the legal owners of the land.

“Instead of helping us get back our land, they are the ones chasing us away. We want the government to tell us, when the police steal land from a common citizen, does that mean that the law does not value us or is there any other place we should go to, to seek justice and protection?” he posed.

Mr Mburu also said that they acquired the land and developed it at a cost of Sh800 million but the police took it during the tenure of Maj Gen (rtd) Hussein Ali’s tenure.

“The court issued the notice which was to be served to the former police commissioner but he could not be reached. So the court was forced to serve the eviction notice to him through one of the local dailies,” he explained.

Mr Mburu asked the Ministry of Lands to intervene saying the force was unlawfully allocated the land.

“We got the land in 1988 and then in 2005 they started saying that it belonged to the police. How can the Ministry of Lands allocate land that already had an owner to someone else?”

However one of the police officials attached to the Langata police station, Samuel Kiine, denied the claims when the group went to the site to reclaim the land. He accused them of disrupting peace.

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When he was asked who the land belonged to he replied, “You don’t have to ask me a very irrelevant question. As you can see, this is a police post. Who is the owner of a police post? These people are trespassers.”

The group’s lawyer, Eric Mutua also said the property had been the subject of a court dispute since 2005 and that the dispute was resolved by the Kibera Law Court, in 2008, in favour of the women’s group.

“We are therefore trying to recover our land but when we came we met resistance. The police commissioner is in contempt of court and we will have to go back to court,” he asserted.

The women’s group also accused the police of arresting the group’s chairperson and his wife, an accusation which the police vehemently denied.

“They have arrested him and his wife and this is not the first time that this is happening. It is almost the twentieth time they have done that. We have been fighting with police since the mid 80s and we are tired. They should give us back our land,” said an anonymous source.

The group had in their possession copies of the court notice that was to be served to the former police commissioner as well as the land’s title deed.


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