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Hundreds of Mwingi Residents risk eviction following an order by TARDA

Hundreds of Mwingi residents living near the Kiambeere dam risk being rendered homeless following attempts by the Tana Athi River Development Authority (TARDA) to reclaim the river and dam riparian land which is currently inhabited by locals.

Residents from the neighboring Machakos County insides of Masinga have already been issued with an eviction court order to vacate their land in order to allow extension of the Dam effective from 3rd September last year.
 A similar order has been issued to hundreds of residents of Kakuyu location in Mumoni Sub-county, in Kitui county near the Kiambeere Dam to vacate their land. TARD also claims to have purchases pieces of land in the area in 1980s and residents living on the land have also been ordered to vacate, a move which has been overwhelmingly protested by locals.

According to residents of Kithumuoni village which entirely lies within the land being claimed by the Authority, officials from TARDA came to the area way back in 1885 and started giving out money to residents claiming to compensate them for the cleanliness of their homesteads and planting of trees.
However, it was a rude shock to residents when the authority came to the area more than 30 years later claiming to have purchased the entire village although most of those who had benefited had passed away.
Josphat Mutemi, a resident of the Kithumuoni village is urging the national government under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta to find a way of helping hundreds of residents who risk eviction from their land where they were born and raised.
Mutemi said that the Process of acquiring the land by TARDA was flawed because residents were not told that they were selling the land and many years have passed and residents have developed the area with a school with class eight candidates currently lying on the land.
Alice Mutua, a lady who operates a shop at Kithumuoni shopping center says that she has nowhere else to go in case of an eviction and urged the government to come to the rescue of many residents who might be rendered landless if evicted.
She said that the plight of residents should be addressed first and alternative land sought for them if they were to go.
Joseph Mutemi a 40 years old resident of the area says that he was born and raised in the area and he knows no other place to go alongside his elderly mother.
He urged local leaders, the county, and the national government to listen first to the plight of residents before deciding on the way forward over the matter.

By Mwingi Times Reporter

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