Chepchoina squatters demonstrate against eviction
More than 200 squatters at the disputed Chepchoina Squatters evicted from settlement scheme along the West Pokot and Trans-Nzoia border held a demonstration to protest against alleged grabbing of their land.
The squatters claimed they were allocated five acres of land each at the scheme by the Agricultural Development Co-operation (ADC) in 1994 and 1997, but they are being frustrated by a section of tycoons who want to grab the land.
The squatters who held peaceful demonstration a Cheperem accused Security apparatus in the area of colluding with a cartel of tycoons who want to take over the land in exchange of bribe.
They accused particularly Endebess Deputy County Commissioner Peter Maina of working with grabbers who are influential people in the Government and previous officials of the scheme.
The squatters called on the national government to intervene in the matter which they said is going to get out of hand if the issue is ignored by the government.
One of the squatters John Matanda said some cartels of tycoons are colluding with the security personnel to forcefully evict them from the Chepchoina phase two.
He said they have been barred by General Service Unit officers who are patrolling the land to ensure the squatter do not tend their land.
However the GSU officers drove off to their station once journalists arrive at the scene where the squatters had camped to air their grievances to the media.
“The security team here has been compromised to frustrate us not to plough our portions. We want the government to come to our rescue since the officers have been arresting us once we get top our land,” said Matanda.
The squatters have called for anti corruption agencies to investigate the conduct of top security officers in the area for what they term is a scheme to eject them from their land.
The squatters affected drawn from Pokot, Turkana and Luhya communities have warned that the process will be bloody if the government doesn’t intervene soon.
This comes three days after Kapenguria M.P Samuel Moroto hit at the Deputy County Commissioner who he accused of colluding with grabbers to frustrate and eject squatters from their land.
Moroto called Cabinet secretary from internal security Joseph Nkaiserry to take action against top security officers in the area for mistreating the squatters.
Moroto who is also a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Security who toured the scheme last week advised the squatters to take legal action against those who harassed them during the alleged eviction.
Huge hectares of land within the Chepchoina settlement scheme have not been ploughed due to orders where he squatters have been stopped by the security personnel.
The scheme over the past several years has been facing the same predicament of mishandling of squatters and majority of them living in abject poverty.
A cross check within the scheme depicts a neglected society with no social amenities including schools and medical facilities.
The squatter are currently camping at Bondeni Primary School for fear of being attacked by security personnel.