KDF accused of illegally acquiring land in Garissa

Balambala MP Abdikadir Aden. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP NATION

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Politicians in Garissa County have accused the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) of fencing off community land, calling it an infringement of their right to ownership.

The leaders Thursday threatened to move to court to stop the KDF from the alleged hiving off of their land.

Speaking to journalists in Modika, Garissa assembly members vowed to use their oversight role to ensure the land, which they said is a lifeline for pastoralists in the area, is not occupied by the military.

Balambala MP Abdikadir Aden said he was deeply concerned about the “grabbing” of the land by the KDF in his constituency, saying the grazing land belongs to the community and it’s unacceptable for anyone to take it without consultations.

Mr Aden asked the army to stop immediately what he called “an illegal act”, adding that local leaders will be considering moving to court next week to seek redress for infringement of their rights.

Sankuri Ward Rep Abdiwahab Suleiman claimed residents one day woke up to vehicles ferrying fencing materials while a land mark was placed before the work started.

This, he said, was done without consulting residents and their leaders.

Mr Suleiman said they later got information that the land was intended for a military barracks.

“We cannot afford to lose this land because it’s where pastoralists graze and it has a water point for their livestock. Even if the government wants to acquire land, there are laws and procedures to be followed,” he told journalists.

Danyeri Ward Rep Nur Osman said no environmental or social impact assessment was done and that it was not possible to just wake up one morning and fence off 40 square kilometres without consulting anyone.

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