Families left homeless after evictions following land dispute

The affected said there was no court order to evict them from the land
The affected said there was no court order to evict them from the land

At least 300 people from 11 families in Kapsait village, Pokot South Sub County, West Pokot County are sleeping in the cold after evictions following a long-standing land dispute. The families were left homeless on Monday last week after their houses were set ablaze, property worth millions and crops in farms destroyed by security officers following a court order in a land tussle.

The 11.94 hectares land tussle between the families of two clans led by Mr Tong’elech Lokwanamoi and Mr. Chemer Lochaling’a has been rumbling for more than 40 years.

The fate of exam candidates who are day scholars from the affected families hangs in the balance.

Meanwhile, residents have claimed that there was no court order and a reason for the eviction.

This is the second eviction after the first one was done in 2015.

The families are now camping at Kapsakar and Murkokoi villages, Lelan location and are appealing for food aid from the government and the Kenya Red Cross society to enable them to cope with the incident.

The families, who are in possession of the title deed, claim they have the right ownership of the land. “Police came and set our houses on fire without giving us a notice. We are sleeping under trees and even staying in fear because of the ongoing police gunshots,” said Selina Tong’elech one of the affected victims.

They said that the land tussle case between the two groups is in court and wondered why the police became brutal without any court order. “The case is still in court and we wonder why police have come to evict us,” said Mrs. Tong’elech.

“We want the government to immediately intervene in this matter or else we shall revenge,”said Mr. Loripo Limara.

Loripo said that property worth millions was destroyed including grains in their stores, housed old items; clothing as well as money and certificates.

However, Pokot South Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Frederick Kimanga said there was a court order to evict the families. He said the police gave them a notice two weeks ago to vacate the land. He also said the police should not use excessive force to evict the families.