A family from Nyortis village, Nzoia location, Likuyani Sub County has been forced to spend the night in the cold following the demolition of their houses by officers who were allegedly accompanied by a group of unknown people.
According to one of the victims, Mr. Alfred Wafula, a group of over 50 men stormed into the compound at about 2am and started dismantling their houses. He claimed that property worth thousands of shillings was destroyed in the process and other valuables looted by the men who accompanied security enforcers, claims that have been refuted by Area police boss Mr. Meshack Kiptum.
Wafula’s young brother Vincent Nyongesa narrated how he and his children were attacked while they were sleeping.
“They started with my house while we were deep asleep. A loud bang on the wall woke me up, followed by crumbling debris that fell on my leg and left me with slight injuries,” explained Nyongesa.
Beatrice Busolo, a beneficiary of the Kakamega county shelter improvement program which targets the elderly and vulnerable in the community, was not spared as her recently constructed house was demolished.
According to Wafula, the group demolished a total of ten houses and made away with cash and valuable goods. He said the move was as a result of a long-standing land dispute, adding that they have been living on a 32 acre disputed piece of land since 1966. “We were shocked when police officers accompanied by at least 50 men arrived and started demolishing our houses without uttering a word,” said Alfred Wafula.
Area police boss Meshack Kiptum, however, said the police were just executing eviction orders issued by an Eldoret Court on February 1st this year.
He argued that the evicted family had encroached on the said land, a move that forced Francis Simiyu and his siblings to file a case in court seeking to have the affected people send away.
“It is a protracted case pitting the two parties but the Court ruled in favour of Mr Francis Simiyu Samita and his siblings on August 16 last year before the latter sought eviction orders that were also granted.”
Mr Kiptum said the feuding families are related.
“It is Simiyu’s mother who is said to have bought the land only for step brothers to come and forcefully occupy part of it,” he said.
However, Alfred Wafula, claimed their mother had a share in the disputed piece of land. “Both my late mother and his late mother are buried on this piece of land, we can’t understand why police should take sides,” he said adding it was their Mother Dinah Nelima who saved the piece of land from auctioneers’ hands who almost sold it for an unpaid loan to the settlement office.
The victims are calling on the government to intervene and help them get a share of the piece of land.
According to Mr Kiptum, police did everything within the provision of law. “We expected the affected people to have appealed against the court ruling and eviction orders much earlier instead of just sitting there doing absolutely nothing until the last minute.”