Iten Residents Move Out at Night After Stern Warning on Land Grabbers

A collage of residents from Iten vacating houses at night
A collage of residents from Iten vacating houses at night

Residents from Iten Elgeyo Marakwet County were forced to vacate their premises at night after a directive from the regional commissioner to land grabbers.

On Sunday night, the locals were seen dragging their items on the streets to avoid facing the consequences of disobeying the directive.

Additionally, some of the locals were seen waiting outside with their belongings while the shop owners ferried their supplies to nearby vehicles.

According to reports, the affected residents were occupying shops and houses on land said to belong to the government.

This comes only four days after Abdi Hassan the Rift Valley Commissioner ordered all land grabbers to vacate public land.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Abdi Hassan
Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Abdi Hassan
Abdi Hassan

Hassan emphasised that none of the documents presented by the residents were authentic and were not issued by the relevant officials from the Ministry of Land.

"They must immediately vacate the premises, we do not have any time to hear excuses. I have given a directive that no one should be occupying public land," he stated.

He added that no one should be occupying public land unless with authorisation from the government. Hassan reiterated that all found guilty will be arrested and charged.

Additionally, he revealed that investigations will commence to know how some of the locals got those land documents or got to occupy the land.

"We are interested in developing the plot not negotiating with these land grabbers. The only solution to dealing with these people is to arrest them and take other measures. Do not try to fight with the government because you will lose," he emphasised.

After the land in question is fully vacated, the county government is expected to fence it to prevent any further grabbing of the parcel. Officers will all be on guard to prevent squatters.

Hassan's directive come when the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission is on a mission to recover all public land which has been grabbed across the country. The land is valued at over Ksh1.2 billion.

EACC center, Nairobi
A photo of the EACC headquarters, at Integrity House in Nairobi.
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