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Daily Nation : February 28th 2014
DAILY NATION Friday February 28, 2014 TRANS NZOIA | Towns fail to grow as individuals hold on to assets Agency to help retrieve grabbed land Commission boss pledges assistance to county governments whose expansion remains stalled BY PHILIP BWAYO @philipbwayo email@example.com government land for expansion. “We are investigating individuals C who own the said land and will demand documents to show how they acquired it,” National Lands Commission chairman Mohammed Swazuri said in Trans Nzoia yesterday. Dr Swazuri said county govern- ments have been appealing to his team to arbitrate on land matters BUNGOMA Cane farmers plan demos over new law BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Sugarcane growers have threat- ened to organise countrywide protests against a new law that seeks to establish an umbrella body to coordinate agricultural activities nationally. The Kenya National Sugar- cane Growers Association said if the Agriculture, Livestock and Food Authority Act 2013 was not amended, it would destroy the sugar sector. The more than 2,000 cane farm- ers from all sugarcane growing zones held a meeting at Bukembe trading centre in Bungoma County and resolved to organise demonstrations from next week to push for the amendments to the Act. KENNEDY KIMANTHI | NATION North Imenti police boss Tom Odero displays a bottle of cheap liquor popularly known as ‘Kabondi’ in Meru County during a meeting with women from Nthimbiri location yesterday. The women had assembled at the Deputy County Commissioner Jim Njoka’s office to protest against the sale of illicit alcohol in the region. We will fight to protect the sugar sub-sector. Our farmers have no other crop to rely on” Stephen Walubi, official “We have not been heard through dialogue and consultations so we are going to hold massive demonstrations to push through amendments,” said organising secretary Stephen Walubi. The law seeks to scrap several single commodity development organisations for the tea, sugar, coconut, cotton, meat, horticulture and coffee sub-sectors, saying they have overlapping roles. “We will fight to protect the sugar sub-sector. Our farmers have no other cash crop to rely on other than sugarcane,” said Mr Walubi. NAKURU IDPs seek nod to farm on disputed land BY NATION CORRESPONDENT Post-election violence victims yesterday asked the government to negotiate with sellers of a 750-acre farm it bought to resettle them so that they can be allowed to grow crops. The chairman of the 267 families, Mr Samuel Kuria, said that would ease their food problems as they await completion of a civil suit filed over a dispute arising from sharing of the Sh97.5 million paid by the government for the property. Mr Kuria said they were keen to grow crops and rebuild their lives once the sub-division was done, complaining that the long delay was making them lose hope. The government has dragged its feet on the matter for the past three years, he added. The families moved on the late Benson Njoroge Wamanji’s farm after the government bought it from the estate’s administrator. But a dispute arose over sharing of the money, leading to the filing of a civil suit by some of the relatives. Dropped out of school The court then issued a temporary order halting the farm’s subdivision and any activity on the property until the matter was heard and determined. “For three years, we have lived in tents. Our children have since dropped out of school while we have no food to eat since the order blocks us from cultivating the farm bought for us by the government,” said Mr Kuria. The government bought the land and transferred to the Settlement Fund Trustees, which subsequently allocated it to the post-election victims. Mr Kuria appealed to the govern- ment and well-wishers to help them with seeds and fertiliser to ease their reliance on handouts, saying the State had reduced food rations given to them every four months. He also appealed to the government to post security officers to the camp. Some members have built a threeroom house for officers, he added. ounty governments will be assisted to reclaim grabbed plots or to acquire unutilised and this was hampering development plans. The NLC boss, who was addressing a public forum at Kitale showground, said most land in towns was dished out by local government officials taking advantage of the fact that such property had no title deeds. “Most county governments have a problem expanding their towns as land initially set aside for this purpose was given away by the now defunct municipal and county councils,” he said. ‘‘ Governor Patrick Khaemba complained of the shortage of space for expansion of towns in the region, noting that Kitale Town was the most affected. “Half the town is forest while some of its land was grabbed with the rest belonging to the railways and lying idle. We want you to help us get part of the land for expansion,” Mr Khaemba told the NLC chairman. The county boss also said land belonging to the Kitale prison annex should be surrendered to expand the bus park that was initially five acres but has shrunk to about an acre. Dr Swazuri promised to talk to the Kenya Forest Service and the railways and ask them to surrender part of their land to the county government. He said they would, however, need to be compensated with alternative land. “We are ready to start negotiations. All we need is your integrated town plan and assurance that you have alternative land to compensate them,” he said. The commission also promised to We are investigating individuals who own the said land and will demand documents to show how they acquired it,” Lands agency boss Mohammed Swazuri MERU | Women protest at sale of illicit alcohol investigate the emotive Chepchoina settlement scheme on the border of Trans Nzoia and West Pokot counties to ascertain claims of fraudulent allocations in phase two. “We are also investigating the squatter problem that is rampant in Trans Nzoia as a result of historical injustices,” he said. County News 19 BRIEFLY MACHAKOS Litigants in protest over drunk prosecutor Litigants disrupted operations at the Kangundo law Court in Machakos County, yesterday as they protested against a drunk prosecutor. The crowd that also included a few lawyers demanded the immediate removal of the court officer for being drank while on duty. The magistrate in charge of the Court, Irene Kahuya declined to comment on the matter when contacted by journalists. NYERI Electoral team accused of favouring candidate The electoral commission has been accused of favouring Tharaka Nithi County women representative Beatrice Nkatha in March 4 election. Poll loser Mercy Kirito Mutegi told judges Alnashir Visram, Martha Koome and Otieno Odek through lawyer Charles Agwara that alterations in form 35 affected results. Mr Agwara also faulted an order for his client to pay Sh3.5 million costs. Judgment is on April 8. (KNA) EMBU Farmers lament over bogus maize seeds Farmers in Embu county want the government to supply them with certified subsidised maize seeds, to boost farm yields. The farmers who spoke at Karurumo Polytechnic lamented that they have been experiencing crop failures due to bad seeds in the market. Embu County agriculture committee chairman Salesio Kimaru said the assembly would make laws to protect farmers exploitation. NYERI Jail for man who rode unlicensed motorbike A man was yesterday sen- tenced to six months in jail by a Nyeri court for flouting traffic rules. Samuel Kihumbu was facing charges of riding a motorcycle without insurance along Nyeri Kiganjo road on February 26. He was also charged with riding the motorcycle without a valid licence on the same date along the same route. Kihumbu pleaded guilty to both counts before Acting senior resident magistrate Christine Wekesa. NAKURU Dairy farmers seek to meet milk processors Dairy farmers in Nakuru have demanded a meeting with milk processors where prices can be set jointly. The farmers asked the Kenya Dairy Board to call the meeting after Brookside, the country’s largest milk processor, announced a cut in the price of raw milk from next month. Farmers received a statement through SMS advising them that the price of raw milk will go down from Sh32 a litre to Sh27.
February 27th 2014
March 1st 2014