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Monday, May 24, 2021 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has come to the aid of poor farmers in Tigania in a land dispute with the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

According to reports, Uhuru appealed to the locals asking them to withdraw cases they had filed in court.

In a speech delivered by Agriculture CS Peter Munya on his behalf, the Head of State further assured the residents that the state had their best interest at heart and that it would help them preserve their land rights.

Locals claimed that KDF evicted them and destroyed their structures at night despite a court order which had stopped the evictions pending the hearing and determination of the case.

In his assurance, Uhuru disclosed that the state was already pursuing a plan to move military installations including the 78 Battalion from the land.

He also noted that no resident would lose their land through the tiff but appealed to them to donate some of the idle land to the state.

An earlier court ruling in the tiff had stopped KDF from carrying out further evictions on the 17,000-acre parcel of land located in Tigania East, Meru County, on the border with Isiolo.

The freeze orders had been issued by the Land and Environment Court in a case filed by 13 of the victims.

In court documents, the petitioners claimed that they were being evicted without any justification and noting that the army had illegally dug trenches on the land.

They also argued that some of the respondents mentioned in the suit, who included Cabinet Secretaries, regularly visited the land with surveyors.

The petitioners, the majority of whom are peasant farmers, also complained of being threatened with unknown consequences if they did not vacate from the land in time.

The Kenyan DAILY POST

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