More than 60 squatter families were yesterday left homeless after their houses were demolished and set ablaze for invading Agricultural Development Corporation land in Malindi district. The squatters, who were farming at the ADC Top Farm, got a rude shock when a contingent of administration, regular police, and prison warders raided their homes.
Tension is now high in the area as the squatters do not know the fate of their crops. They are concerned the food will also be destroyed by the police. Property of an unknown value was destroyed in the incident, including household goods, food and clothing.
Malimo Ward councillor Hosea Chome said the officers raided and evicted the squatters before setting the houses ablaze. A total of 22 houses were ruined during the raid, leaving the squatters stranded.
It is the same area where an Administration Police officer was killed and another one escaped death narrowly after they were attacked by unknown gang last year. The officer had gone to patrol the area when the gang killd him and stole his gun.
A reliable source from the area who sought anonymity said the eviction had raised alarm amongst the Mijikenda. The source said over 1,000 acres out of the 5,000 acres of ADC Farm had been sold out to high profile individuals and there were also plans to sell more parcels.
“We want the government and the DC to come out clear on this and state whether the land was subdivided to and the beneficiaries because the locals are being evicted so as to enable high profile individuals be allocated the land,” said the source.
The source said a parliamentary committee visited the area and conducted interviews but have never made their report public. He also said the Kenya Anti-Corruption officers visited the area and were told the truth, but surprisingly no action had been taken. “We want to know who is giving out the eviction orders to the police because the matter could have negative repercussions,” he said.Malindi DC Arthur Mugira confirmed the eviction, but said those evicted were not squatters.