Dec 13, 2011

Maasai: Land Claims Presented To The Commission

Maasai representatives introduce land claims to the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission as the government tries to take over their remaining territory around Nairobi.

Below is an article published by Daily Nation:

Community representatives told the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission sitting at Maasai Technical Training Institute in Kajiado on Monday that the land was grabbed and some of them have been rendered squatters since independence.

They said the plan by the government to have Kajiado and Namanga as Nairobi Metropolitan was a ploy to take over their remaining land and render more of them squatters.

Feeding livestock

Maasai elder John Maitai, who presented a memorandum during the hearings preside over by Commissioner Gertrude Chawatama said historical injustices meted on them included attack by wild animals.

“Land has been grabbed from us (Maasai) and should be returned. This includes Ngong and Embakasi.

Land in Athi River was grabbed after the Maasai leased it to the Kenya Meat Commission for purposes of feeding livestock,” he said.

Another elder James Turere said the community lost about 1,912 acres of land in a place called Shireport in Kitengela that borders Nairobi National Park in Kajiado District after the colonial government declared that it lay in Machakos County.

“This land was being used for a government project in conjunction with the International Livestock Research Institute.

“The land was never returned to us. We have been trying to get it back, but it has been difficult,” he said.

Mr Turere said the title deeds they had were no longer recognised and urged the government to help them get their land back.

“We have been beaten by the grabbers, our homes burnt...yet this land is rightfully ours,” he said.

Author: Peter Nge’Etich