Squatters’ Attempt to Survey Disputed Mark Too’s Land in Eldoret Halted by Police

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Police officers in Eldoret town on Thursday, May 26, 2022, arrested a land surveyor that had accompanied committee members of Sirikwa Squatters Group for the subdivision of a disputed land belonging to the late nominated Member of Parliament Mark Too.

The squatters led by their chairman Benjamin Cherono had gone to the 24,000-acre piece of land located near the Eldoret International Airport within Kapseret Sub County for the subdivision in what they said was following court orders issued earlier this month.

A court order issued on May 11, 2022 granted us permission to bring the surveyor for subdivision of this land,” Cherono told journalists.

Sirikwa Squatters Group chairman Benjamin Cherono with a court order he said allowed them survey the land.

The Sirikwa Squatters Group committee members had the orders issued by Justice E. Obaga, who according to them allowed for the sub division of the land.

As it is now, there are no stay orders on this matter hence allowing us to subdivide this land. We hope to subdivide at least 500 acres today,” Cherono said.

Despite a court order the squatters said was in their favor, attempts to get police officers to accompany them and provide security during the process hit a snag as both Kapseret Sub County Police Commander and the Officer Commanding Langas Police Station (OCS) said they had no power to direct police to accompany them.

And just as they were preparing to start the land sub division, police officers arrived at the disputed land and arrested the surveyor.

Some of the Sirikwa Squatters Group committee members at the disputed land on May 28, 2022

Uasin Gishu County Police Commander said the police had not been served with any order requiring them to provide security to the squatters to facilitate sub division of the expansive agricultural land.

Police have no order to go to the farm or provide any security – that’s where the confusion is. As per the order in our possession, we have not been given authority to facilitate survey of the farm, and whatever they (squatters) are doing is illegal,” said the police boss.

A case over ownership of the land has been in court since 2007 where a group of 1,200 squatters had moved to court claiming to be legitimate owners of the land – now occupied by the late Mark Too’s family.

A notice erected by Mark Too’s family at the land.

Ruling of the case was issued in February 2017, where the squatters were given 24,000 acres of the land, with Mark Too allocated only 27 hectares.

The family however appealed the ruling.

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