- Court declared East African Portland Cement Company rightful owner of the land
- Ukambani leaders Accuse Government, promise to take legal action.
The victims of house demolitions that occurred on Friday afternoon (13th October 2023) in Mavoko Machakos County have come forward to explain their decision to build retirement houses on the disputed land.
They allege that they followed due process in acquiring plots in an area that has long been a source of conflict between local residents and the East African Portland cement company.
“I bought a piece of land here few years back so as to build myself a beautiful retirement home….it is unfortunate that the government can one day just wake up and throw away our hard earned investment,” Mavoko land owner Nelson Nderi said.
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Halima Abdi, one of the landowners in Mavoko, stated that she purchased a piece of land from the native residents and had no reason to believe it was government-owned.
“Wakamba waliniuzia shamba hapa, nikajenga rentals…nilichukua loan….ata sijamaliza halafu serikali inakuja kubomoa….hakuna notice tulipewa,” Halima said
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The demolition has left over 2000 families affected prompting various Ukambani leaders led by wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Machakos governor Wavinya Ndeti among other area leaders condemn the move by the government that has also led to schools and churches being demolished.
“…..ile kidogo mwananchi amejenga yake unang’oa na unajiita hustler, hapana. Yaani ile bottom up ni kumaliza yule ako chini that is what we are being told by Kenya Kwanza,”Kalonzo said.
The dispute over the East African Portland Cement land has been a contentious issue for several years.
The affected residents settled on the land after the company completed its mining operations a decade ago.
The demolitions occurred just a day after President William Ruto vowed to evict land grabbers from the area.
Earlier in the week, the Machakos High Court declared East African Portland Cement the legitimate owner of the land situated within Athi River, Mavoko.