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Two days of deaths in Kasauni over land

A family Majaoni, Kisauni, is living in fear after a relative, who was a member of community policing, was killed and their 14-acre piece of land invaded by unknown people.

The conflict has seen the killing of one more person and another seriously injured within two days with the family asking police to intervene and stop the killings.

Mr Jonathan Kapombe, 46, and a father of four, was killed on Saturday by a gang of over 200 men that villagers claim had been invading land claiming they were squatters, only to later sell it to private developers.

Mrs Palula Kitsao, Mr Kapombe’s widow, said she was in the company of her husband when they were told that their son was being beaten by members of the gang called Kaganalao.

“We went to rescue my son but when they saw my husband they descended on him with kicks and rungus. They put him on a motor bike saying they wanted him to give them some information and rode off. Later, I was told that he was killed and his body burnt,” she said in tears.

FOUR DECADES

The second person, who villagers say is a member of the group, was killed after residents waylaid him.

According to their family spokesman Samson Baya, they have been living on the piece of land for more than four decades.

“Last year, I went to the Land department at the county and obtained a letter instructing the National Land Commission (NLC) to allocate the land to my family,” he said, adding that after that, invaders started settling on the land.

In a letter dated January 20, the Lands Department at the Mombasa County wrote to the NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri, asking the commission to allocate the piece of land to Samson Baya, Mohamad Hamadi and Hassan Khamis.

Mr Baya said he had already taken surveyors there and in the process of securing ownership documents when the incident happened.

WELL KNOWN

“We normally hear of people being evicted from their land which is grabbed by rich people but now it appears our own youths are the ones grabbing the land. They are being used by tycoons to grab our land,” he said.

“This gang is well known by the chiefs, the police and other administrators. We call upon the government to protect us because they have vowed to kill all of us so that they can take the land. If I die today I will blame the police for failing to protect me,” he said.

Kisauni Deputy County commissioner Julius Kavita said they had launched investigations with the view of arresting the killers, but noted that the land had not been allocated to any individual.

“In the meantime that is government land and nobody should claim ownership,” he said without elaborating.

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