, NYERI, Kenya Oct 8 – Thirty five families of the late senior Chief Wambugu Mathangani on Monday held peaceful demonstrations demanding the National Government through the National Land Commission to pay them Sh1.6 billion for 136 acres of land that was acquired forcibly.
The family chairman Peter Wachira said the government also owes them rent arrears for a period of 10 years which they were being paid but the government stopped after acquiring the parcel of land by force.
The family representative said that 10 years ago, before the compulsory acquisition, the land was valued at Sh8 million per acre which amounted to Sh1.08 billion but now the value has appreciated to Sh12 million per acre amounting to a total of Sh1.6 billion.
In 2015, the family appealed against a ruling by The Environmental and Land Court in Nyeri that stated that the 35 families of the late Chief Wambugu were entitled to Sh146 million given as compensation by the national government claiming it was far below the market price.
The families locked the gates leading to the Wambugu Agricultural Training Centre which they vowed will remain shut until the matter is settled.
James Wanyaga, a family trustee said the late Wambugu leased the land in 1956 for a period of 50 years where the agreement stated that they could terminate the lease if any party did not honour the agreement.
Wanyaga said that they have the title and they will not allow the county government to sub rent the land or any project to take place until they are compensated.
In addition, Wanyaga called on the county government to relocate their offices from their premises saying that they want to sub-divide the land to the affected families.