Murang’a County Commissioner (CC), Ngumo Karuku, has urged land owners and squatters involved in a land dispute in Ithanga Sub-county to avoid any confrontations as they await communication from the National Lands Commission.
Speaking at Kakuzi, Kinyangi Sub-location, during a ceremony to inaugurate the newly appointed Chief for Kakuzi Location, Patrick Wambua, the County Commissioner urged all parties tussling over the contentious land within Mithiini Sub-location to respect the law.
Karuki stated that the dispute is between those who claim to be owners of the contested land and about 250 squatters.
He said the County Security Committee will only allow the owners with genuine documents to access the land after reporting to the Local Administration, so that security can be provided for them.
“Earlier in April, we had an incident where one of the owners wanted to develop his land but squatters took weapons and threatened the proprietor,” said Karuku, adding that the complainants should respect the law and report any discontent to security agencies.
According to Karuku, the Office of the County Commissioner has in the past tried to get a settlement over the issue and the land owners had each agreed to surrender half an acre of land, which was to be consolidated to accommodate the squatters.
“Squatters adamantly turned down that offer and referred the case to the National Land Commission, we are still waiting for communication from the entity,” he said.
There had been reports of leaflets threatening forceful evictions from the disputed land that further fueled the tension among the squatters.
The County Commissioner stated that his office will continue to pursue the possibility of an amicable out of court settlement.
Meanwhile, Karuku has vowed to continue arresting and prosecuting the brewers and sellers of illicit liquor in the area.
He, however, lamented that illicit liquor is now easily accessible to the youth. “The County Government is responsible for issuing the licenses and they have licensed bars even in areas you wouldn’t expect bars to be, making access to the alcohol very easy,” he said.
On his part, the newly inaugurated Chief for Kakuzi Location, Patrick Wambua, promised to ensure all children remain in school and intensifying the fight against illicit brews.
Wambua vowed to serve all residents of his location diligently and without discrimination.