Land Tussle: Kanamai Community In Kilifi Living In Fear After Being Branded MRC

Tsuma Kodi a brother to the late brothers who disappeared mysteriously told journalists that his life is in danger for also being at the forefront of fighting against the land.

A land tussle between a community and a tycoon has brought uncertainty to Kikambala with over 1,000 residents of the Kanamai area in Kilifi South Constituency of Kilifi County now living in fear. 

Their kin, have now branded to be members of the Mombasa Republican Council sect falsely in what they claim to be a tussle over land with a tycoon.

They held a peaceful demonstration protesting against what they termed as the mysterious deaths of their four kids over the battle for land.

Two brothers were reportedly kidnapped by unknown armed men outside the Shanzu Law courts after attending a court case in which the community is entailed in a legal tussle with a tycoon over land in their area while one was allegedly poisoned and died while undergoing treatment in hospital.

The two have never been found ever since and family members believed they have killed.

That problem led to their mother suffering from stroke and has been paralyzed ever since.

The fourth one he said was allegedly attacked by hired goons who had allegedly been given instructions by the tycoon and died upon arrival at the hospital in Mombasa.

To make matters worse two more brothers of those who disappeared claim their lives are also in danger after their names appeared on the DCI list of suspected MRC members and fear they could be executed anytime despite the fact that they are innocent.

They believe a family that is claiming ownership of the large parcel of land is behind the killings.

Journalists visited the area at Kanamai Mabambani village and heard from the locals that they were angered more when they learned that one of the family members of the family they have a dispute with is on the nomination list of Pamoja African Alliance a political party that has its roots in Kilifi County.

Tsuma Kodi a brother to the late brothers who disappeared mysteriously told journalists that his life is in danger for also being at the forefront of fighting against the land.

“The reason for calling this meeting here today is because of the injustices that we are facing as a community, leaders normally come here to ask for votes but they do not assist us in any way,” he said.

Kodi who provided court documents to journalists said they have been having a land dispute since 2015 with a tycoon who had sold a large parcel of land claiming to be the rightful owner and used his wealth and influence to frustrate them.

he said the tycoon used his wealth to harass the community through the police as 21 people from the village including women, men, and youth were arrested and taken to Shimo La Tewa prison and were given a bond of 1 million which they could not raise for one year.

Kodi said the magistrate then established that the problem was not about criminal gangs but over land and ordered the tycoon John Kimogut Kiptoo to produce the title deed of the parcel of land.

He said the tycoon went with the title deed which indicated that he owned 78 acres but want to take all the parcels of land which is their ancestral land.

The magistrate ordered the court to be heard at the land and directed the tycoon to be given his land and the rest to remain vacant while all those that had been arrested were released after they were found not guilty.

“After the judgment I had a brother called Moses who was poisoned the following week and died, the same week two other brothers were kidnapped outside the Shanzu law courts, ” he said.

Since then he said they have been facing intimidation and arrests of innocent people.

Currently, he said there are false reports that he is the ring leader of the MRC gang in the area.

“They killed my brothers, now they are branding me as an MRC gang member so as to finish me, from today my life is in danger any time I can disappear mysteriously or be Killed,” he said.

He said the area MCA Victor Mwaganda which they elected in 2017 together with Governor Amason Kingi has failed to address their problem despite the fact that they voted overwhelmingly for them.

“I have received threats three times, initially I was told I am a leader of a criminal gang, the second time I was tracked by armed people in two vehicles they chased me but did not get me, the third time they came to the land and saw my uncle and asked for me, now they claim that I am an MRC leader who has not been arrested, I do not sleep at home,” he said.

Stephen Baya a resident of Mabambani said there have been a lot of injustices for the last 20 years being spearheaded by the tycoon who has been subjecting the community to arrests, torture, and intimidation.

Baya said his life is also in danger as he has also been branded a member of the MRC sect.

“We ask the administration please intervene, I know these reports are in the higher offices even the DCI is aware of it, a woman lost four children now she is dying and nobody is helping,” he said.

he said the community is against the nomination of one of the tycoon’s family members by PAA.

Baya said the Court ordered the locals to stay there but ever since they have been facing police brutality and continuous arrests.

Gibson Chome a resident said the problem is caused by government officials who are allowing some tycoons to obtain fake title deeds and sell the land illegally.

“We are suffering because of tycoons that’s why we are fighting against it, many died but we are firmly defending our rights,” he said.

Chome said they are ready to be branded all names but will not be cowed even if they are called MRC because the problem is because of fighting for their rightfully owned land.

Kibwana Hamadi Mwinyi who was born in 1960 said they have been following up the matter legally and will not go anywhere even if they are branded all sorts of names.