SQUATTERS ON WAITIKI LAND TO GET ALLOCATION
The 120,000 squatters on the Waitiki Farm on the South Coast were in high spirits last night, after the government decided to allocate them plots on the property.
This follows a major announcement from the government that it has finally signed an agreement with the owner of the 930-acre farm, Evanson Kamau, alias Waitiki.
Sources close to State House confirmed Waitiki was called to Nairobi for a meeting
that finally saw him seal the deal with the government last week.
Waitiki has been quoted opposing “clandestine” methods by state actors to settle the land dispute, which has been pending since 1997.
In a statement to newsrooms, President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed an amicable resolution has been found to the long–running dispute between Waitiki and the squatters over the disputed land.
The Waitiki Farm stretches from the ferry landing for several kilometers to the left of the main Likoni-Kwale road.
To the south, the farm covers large swathes of Timbwani and Shika Adabu wards.
Reiterating that the framework agreement signed with Waitiki promises to end the land problem in the area, Uhuru said a roadmap for the adjudication and titling of all the land to current occupants has been set in motion.
National Lands Commission chairman Mohammed Swazuri confirmed that his team will be in Mombasa on Friday to look into the finer details.
“We had already done the preliminary survey work, and now it has happened. I am not privy to the agreement reached between the government and Waitiki though,” said Swazuri.
Efforts to reach the 67-year-old Waitiki on his phone were futile as he did not answer calls by the time we went to press. He has previously expressed his willingness to negotiate with the government on the land, so that he can leave it to the current occupants.
President Kenyatta has further directed that the acting Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Housing, and Urban Development take immediate steps to implement the framework agreement.
“As a start, he should meet with local leaders as early as next week to work out the final details,” he said.
Waitiki moved to court after he was forcibly evicted from the farm following the outbreak of the Kaya Bombo clashes in 1997.
The invaders subdivided the land and started dishing it out to third parties, who hurriedly put up houses on the acquired plots, culminating in the current standoff between Waitiki and the squatters.