A battle over ownership of a vast land in Maili Tisa in Uasin Gishu pitting members of Leseru Tebeson Farmers Society and Kenya Defense Forces (in Eldoret Barracks) has taken a new twist after the members of the group accused KDF of contempt of court.
The land is said to be approximately 3,000 acres.
The group which is composed of more than 1,000 squatters accused KDF of violating a status quo order issued by Eldoret Land and Environment court.
This meant allowing the members of the Leseru Tebeson Farmers Society to occupy the land pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
Irate members through their lawyer Felix Mukabane accused KDF of intimidating them and even threatening to forcefully evict them despite an active order allowing them to continue occupying the land.
The residents alleged that the KDF officers were interfering with the activities in the land whereas the court has not allowed them to repossess the disputed land.
Addressing journalists in the farm along Eldoret-Webuye road, the members alleged that KDF officers have been brutally mistreating them.
The members who argued that the land was gazetted in 1979 and they have already acquired title deeds.
Led by Miriam Kubai one of the land trustees, the residents alleged that the officers have denied them access into their farms to harvest their farm produce. “It is unfortunate that government department like KDF is violating court order which was issued in April this year by Eldoret land and Environment court,” said Kubai.
Another member Kiberen Kisorio said they were given allotment letters in 2006 upon which they paid more than Sh25 million in the process of acquiring the required documents.
He regretted that despite tabling the court order, KDF officers have continued in the quest for the land leaving some residents nursing injuries.
They have protested the move by an institution like KDF to violate the rule of law.
They want the court to prevail upon KDF to stop interfering with them and instead respect the status quo of the court order issued by Justice Milcent Odeny on February 14.
The court order states that the society which is the applicant remains in the occupation of the land until the matter is heard and determined by the court.
Mukabane wants KDF to stop harassing his clients and wait for the case to be heard and determined in the court of law.
He said that all activities that KDF is carrying out at the contested farm amounts to contempt of court. “If KDF will continue harassing my clients by violating a court order, I will be forced to file contempt of court against them,” said Mukabane
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