85-year old Machakos grandma cries for justice

Mbwele Muoki, 85, outside her grass-thatched house put up on the land of a well-wisher in Tamu Tamu village, Kathonzweni subcounty / MUTUA KAMETI


Mbwele Muoki, an 85-year old widow and her family in Makueni county have appealed to Chief Justice David Maraga, the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and the Attorney General to help them end a 34-year land dispute.

Ms. Muoki and her two sons say they have nowhere to bury their kin after their land was illegally possessed by a stranger who has declined to move from the land despite several court rulings declaring that they are the lawful owners.


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According to Muoki, the 11.3-hectare land located in Kaseve village near Wote town in Makueni subcounty was allegedly sold at a cost of Ksh. 29,000 to an influential son of a former Chief, Mutie Kioko in 1984 by her stepson, Muli Muoki who went missing since then.

“I have never lived a happy life since the demise of my husband, I have even been forced to bury my two sons in borrowed burial sites as I am unable to access my land,” said Mbwele.

One of her sons, Waviti Muoki was buried at Makueni Cemetery and another, John Muoki was buried at a relative’s home at Malivani village, near the disputed land.

The widow at Tamu Tamu village in Kathonzweni subcounty, the mother of five looked sad and troubled as she narrated how she has lived a miserable life since the death of her husband.


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“I left home with my children after my stepson started threatening me and my co-wife who has since died; I later learned that the land was fraudulently bought by Mutie who has been disobeying court rulings,” she said.

She narrated how her stepson would come home drunk late at night and forcefully pick items from the house to go and sell. When she questioned him he would become violent leaving her with no choice but to leave.

Her three sons who were little boys when she left their home said their plans to get married have been unsuccessful because of the land dispute.

“I have tried to approach multiple women but they run away once they discover am leaving on a borrowed land, just like my young brothers,” said Muendo Muoki, her 50-year-old first born.


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According to court documents in her possession, Mbwele is the lawful owner of the land but the trespasser has never moved or evicted. The sickly woman said that once a ruling is made, Mutie swiftly moves to court to block the eviction.

“Am afraid if justice is not fully served, I may die before I settle in my land and that is his intention when applying the delaying tactics,” said Mbwele.

Mbwele now wants the Chief Justice and other government agencies to intervene and help her end the land dispute that has dragged on for 34 years. She also wants the defendant stopped from making further applications and developing the land.


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