By Julius Musungu
Hundreds of Modern high end houses were demolished on Friday at Athi River Mto wa Mawe area after bulldozers hired by the East Africa Portland Company limited amid tight security destroyed the houses for allegedly being built on company land.
The houses that were built on the piece of land were sold to the owners who constructed mansions on the land after many were duped into buying the land owned by the EAPCC.
An investigation of the case conducted by the Kitengelabiznet established that the land a total of about 4000 acres was invaded by people from the nearby regions who forcefully took over the land demanding that it be sold to them as they are members of the immediate community.
Soon after the groups forcefully took the land and subdivided the land among them. Thereafter the individuals who had grabbed the land fabricated tittle deeds documents and soon thereafter they sold the land to unsuspecting developers.
It is estimated that property worth millions of shillings has been destroyed during the demolition exercise at the same time millions of shillings has been fleeced out of unsuspecting buyers.
Albeit, the Kitengelabiznet has established that some of the people who constructed on the land did so knowingly that they had no title deeds to the land.
However Mutua Nzioka a man who had occupied the land told the Kitengelabiznet that they invaded the land so that they could protect the land from being sold to foreigners and without giving members of the immediate community an opportunity.
“we moved in soon after the land adjacent that now sits the greenpark estate was sold to unknown people and as members of the immediate community we felt that we had to be given priority to occupy the land although we did not have the money to buy the land at the rates advertised by the EAPCC” Nzioka said.
The exercise was supervised by about 500 GSU officers who secured the area as demolition continued. This is not the first time that the company has attempted to evict the occupiers of the land in vain as even regular police were repulsed by the occupiers of the land and they have many a times been forced to flee the area.
The EAPCC owns about 12,000 acres of where it miners limestone. However part of the land has been sold to private developers while the other part of the land limestone has been exhausted and it lays bare.
The home owners claimed they were in possession of a court order from the Environment and Lands court in Machakos barring the demolition. Some claimed to have secured banks loans to set up the buildings.
The owners claim they had no prior eviction notice and accuse police officers of protecting land grabbing cartels.
The victims say they are victim of land grabbing cartels protected by police officers who ignored a court order urging the local leaders and the National government to protect them.