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Thursday, December 04, 2014
Kenya: Police Aid In Lamu Land Grabbing
Kenya: Police aid in Lamu land grabbing, says lobby
By Cheti Praxides
The police and public officers in Lamu have been accused of colluding with tycoons to frustrate a lobby group's efforts to get justice on land issues.
Save Mokowe chairperson Ali Said Awadh said rich people, with the help of the police, are grabbing the land of indigenous residents. He also accused chiefs and DOs of grabbing community land and selling it to the tycoons. Awadh said the group's members have been harassed by police officers for fighting for the land rights of the people of Mokowe and the county.
"We have no one else to fight for us. The tycoons have totally bought over our police and public officers. We are appealing to any willing NGOs out there join us and help us get our land from these people," he said.
Awadh was speaking to the Star in Mokowe on Tuesday. He said land grabbing is on the rise because of the Lamu Port South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport corridor.
"Mokowe will be the hub of Lapsset and that's why everyone is racing to have a piece of it before the port is built. These people are willing to do almost anything just to get some of us out of our lands," Awadh said.
The group accused Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and National Land Commission chair Muhammad Swazuri of making false promises.
"When Ngilu came, she said Mokowe and other lands would be surveyed and people given titles. The surveyors left the exercise halfway. The NLC also promised us titles but we have seen nothing so far. Tycoons have found it easy to do as they wish. Our local leaders don't support us. We have no faith in the government nor Ngilu, nor the NLC," said Abdulrahman Aden, a member.
Maulidi Madobe, another member, said: "We can't even put up permanent residence here because the land has yet to be subdivided and people given title deeds. We appeal to the county government to step in and bring surveyors to finish up what Ngilu started since as it looks, she never coming back soon."