By Abdi Hussein
Land buying companies and investors in Kajiado County are pitted against fraudulent land owners who have embroiled them in ownership wrangles, blackmail and high end conman ship.
A new trend has also now emerged where locals want to reposes land they sold to investors over its increased value, resell it at the current market value and reimburse money earlier paid by the land buyers.
Another worrying trend has seen families keen to reposes land they sold by claiming they were duped due to their illiteracy levels.
The simmering land conflict has in recent past prompted Ministry of Lands to rank the county in position three after Nairobi and Kiambu in land fraud.
In the sleepy villages, locals continue tussling with land buyers over chunks of land in a well orchestrated scheme to fleece them.
At Noosikitok village, Mailwa Kajiado Central, a family wants to reposes 100 acres piece of land, arguing that the land was sold at a low price.
The disputed piece of land was sold in 2002 by a matriarch to cater for her medical bills but 18years down the line, the family want the land back.
Seven families left behind by the woman now live in abject poverty on a five acre piece of land and are adamant they have to reposes the land.
“We must reposes the land by all means because our late mother sold the land cheaply and our attempt to reach out to County land tribunal and the Maasai community traditional land dispute resolution committee has bored no fruits,” said Sarah Tutu.
With no documents to show that they still own the disputed land, Men have opted to leave the battle to their wives, whose tears catch public attention and attract sympathy.
County press has however established independently that a local politician has also been inciting the family to settle political scores with the land owner.
The moneyed politician’s attempt to capture Matapato South ward leaderships has flopped in previous general elections.
Devastated land buyer, Moses Narok is now going through a tough journey with frequent visits to seek justice in the Ministry of Land not yielding any fruits.
He has further sought mediation with the family and even volunteered to offer 40acres of his land to them to end the dispute but they are adamantly demanding for the whole chunk.
“I bought it 18 years ago and the deal was sealed but I have been battling with black mail to let go my land whose value continues to appreciate as the family uses orthodox means to reposes,” said Narok.
He further clarified that the new trend is being pushed by unscrupulous land brokers eyeing the prime land for selfish gains.
“I’m a law abiding citizens with all the land ownership documents but I want to tell those taking advantage of the land owners to defraud genuine buyers that they are setting a very dangerous precedent in our county,” he added.
Kajiado Lands CEC Hamilton Parseina who served as the County Land Management Board chairman when the case was tabled said the case was brought to the board and sittings were held in the village before warring parties and the community.
“It was decided that the land owner gives the family 30 acres on humanitarian grounds but the family later refused demanding for a bigger portion,” said Parseina.
Kajiado Central Deputy County Commissioner Charles Wambugu said such incidents are commonly pegged on greed.
Mr Wambugu added that unscrupulous lawyers have been pushing greedy individuals to lodge land complaints in a bid to fleece them.
“Land brokers are working in cahoots with rogue lawyers after roping in purported initial land owners in a well-orchestrated scheme of fraud,” said Wambugu.
He asked land owners in such a situatiion to report to his office for assistance and assured them the government’s commitment to protect citizens and their properties.
Kajiado West,Kajiado East and Central sub counties are the most affected by land fraud but investors in those areas have asked the Ministry of Land to protect them from rogue the land sellers and facilitate them to develop their land.