Sub chief fears rise of tension as squatters invade Mark Too farm

More than 1,000 squatters on Thursday occupied the farm of former MP Mark Too in Uasin Gishu County, a day after they won the right to own part of it.

High Court Judge Anthony Ombwayo gave the squatters 25,000 acres of the land, settling a decade-long dispute.

He, however, allowed Mr Too’s family to retain 27 hectares of the land and file an appeal within seven days.

They occupied the farm near Eldoret International Airport and held prayers.

But Wareng assistant county Commissioner Obwocha Bwobwocha and Eldoret South police boss Isa Manja warned the squatters against the invasion and asked them to follow legal process of acquiring it.

“I know there was a court ruling on Wednesday in your favour but this does not guarantee you a right to invade the land,” said Mr Bwobwocha.

The squatters held a meeting a few meters from Mr Too’s Maziwa farm, where he was buried last month.

They said that they were not out to forcefully occupy the land.

“We are here to hold prayers and thanksgiving after the court ruling and not to necessarily take over the land,” said Sirikwa Squatters Group Chairman Benjamin Rono.

“As law abiding citizens, we shall be patient until the land is officially handed to us,” he added.

Justice Ombwayo in his ruling directed that the squatters should be issued with valid title deeds.

The court estimated the value of the land at Sh100 billion.

Mr Bwobwocha said the squatters’ invasion was likely to spark tension in the family of the former MP.

“The land remains a private property until the entire court process is complete,” said the administrator.

Mr Too’s family through their lawyer Richard Kamau will appeal the ruling.

The squatters on the other hand said they will ask their lawyer William Arusei to speed up the takeover process.

The squatters had filed the case in 2007, accusing Mr Too of grabbing the 25,000 acres.

They argued that they were given the land by retired President Moi in 1998 but Mr Too illegally acquired it.

They said he later subdivide the property and sold it to other people, retaining part of it to himself. Among the buyers is Moi University’s school of law.

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