Over two hundred residents of Chepkobe area in South Pokot Sub County have protested the double allocation of a Group range land in the area.
The residents want the West Pokot County government to assist them in resolving the issue.
The land dispute started in 2005 in Chepkobhe, Tukumo, and Korelach locations and the group land range has no title deeds.
Residents who marched to the county lands office in Kapenguria accused the new committee in charge of land in the area of giving out double land portion to residents.
They said this has created conflict in the area citing that the new committee is short changing locals who were given the piece of land first.
The protesters stayed for one hour in the county lands office before they were addressed by the lands officers.
Residents say that the former land committee demarcated the land well but the appointed new one came and changed everything.
Speaking the press, the protesters accused Serum location chief Samuel Longarngole, nominated member of county assembly Agneta Kelepo, and settlement officer in the county lands office of being a hindrance and illegally colluding with the lands committee to give out the piece of land which had already been issued to other people.
They said the issue is likely to get out of hand as the families who own the land have been receiving threats from different factions of the families within the ranch.
Led by their leader Rev. Isaiah Pkiech, residents cited there is mismanagement of the committee and corruption, and called on the lands committee to be disbanded.
“They take ten thousand from someone in order to give him or her land. The first committee was good and did well but the interim one was introduced and complicated matters,” he said.
They said most of the affected families are orphans and widows, adding that they have gone to the lands office in Kapenguria three times but their grievances haven’t been addressed.
They called on the county government to intervene and assist them in resolving the issue, adding that it has become difficult for them to do any investments or development.
“We want our Governor Simon Kachapin to intervene in the matter,” said John Lolanyan.
However, County CEC for lands Donado Long’al observed that the county government has no control over the Group range land citing that it is private.
Long’al reiterated that officials of Group range in the county have extended their stay in office and need to be replaced.
“We need to replace them and we shall hold elections to elect officers to oversee the group ranges,” he said.
He said that the county government can only facilitate the two groups to meet so as the bring the dispute to an end.
“We urge locals to be patient as we deal with the issue ,”he said.
Long’al pointed out that the two groups have been wrangling, adding that the county government will organize a meeting to educate locals on how to deal with group ranges.
“Land issues are contentious, we are consulting with the area chief so that we can come up with the procedure to deal with the issue,” he explained.
“We have been trying but only one group comes. We organized to visit the area but we were told not to go there ,”he said.