The family of former Nyandarua North Member of Parliament the late, Josiah Mwangi (JM) Kariuki, on Wednesday, June 8, surprised its neighbours, gifting them 90 acres of their 808-acre land in Ol Kalou, Nyandarua County.
Speaking to the media, a family member revealed that it reached the decision to give the 160 households legal rights to the land in the Riverside Farm, which they had settled on as squatters.
In what was a surprise to the neighbours, JM Kariuki’s kin subdivided a the land among the families, instead of evicting them from the late MP’s estate following a court order.
Samples of title deeds. “I am overjoyed because we have been at war with these families over this land for many years on end. However, today is a good day because after discussions, we have decided to gift them the land,” he told the press.
Each of the family households was presented with a title deed – a document that declared them the legal owners of the now subdivided land. They welcomed the move noting that previously, they were uncertain of whether they would have a permanent home.
“We have been living on JM Kariuki’s land since 1992 without any assurance that we owned the land. Today, we can proudly say that we own the land and we can now sleep peacefully,” one new land owner stated.
For the last 30 years, the late MP’s kin had tried to evict them from the land, with the new land owners claiming at the time that it had been allocated to them by the lawmaker before he passed away.
The squatter’s association secretary Ndiritu Muchiri, had pleaded with the court to allow them stay on the land since it was their only source of livelihood, and was the only home they new for nealy five decades.
Elsewhere in Kiambu, Governor James Nyoro officiated the awarding of 50,000 title deeds to residents living in informal settlements around the county under the Kenya Informal Settlement Improvement Program.
The program, which is in conjunction with the Ministry of Lands and the National Lands Commission, will see residents from Umoja, Gichagi, Kiandutu, Kyang’ombe, Kanjeru, Kiamburu, Misri, Fort Jesus and Bosnia among others get land.
Nyoro explained that the programme is in a bid to end the continuous land tussles by providing the locals with proper documentation and improve living conditions.
“We will then embark on constructing roads, install street lights, fit a proper water and sewerage system because people living in informal settlements must lead lives like others,” the county boss stated.
Kiambu Governor James Nyoro pictured addressing an event in Kiambu County in January 2020