The Senate Committee on land has pledged to investigate the Kenya Defence Force (KDF)’s boundary row with communities residing adjacent to the military’s training camps in Isiolo County.
Four committee members led by Chairperson Mwangi Githiomi will from on Monday this week meet officials from the ministries of Defence, Lands and the National Lands Commission to get the actual facts about the stand off between KDF and Isiolo Communities.
Committee members Njeru Ndwiga, Johnes Mwaruma and Sylvia Kasanga accompanied Mr. Githiomi and Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo to meet the communities who have been issued with a 30-day notice to leave the land near the KDF camps which they are alleged to have encroached into.
The Senators said they had met the affected residents at Burat, Ngaremara and Oldonyiro Wards in the area where three of KDF’s military training camps want them to leave their alleged ancestral land without compensation.
Mr Githiomi said his committee heard the position of Isiolo County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri, the community and would conclude their report after they meet with representatives of Defence and Land Ministries this week.
Speaking in Isiolo on Friday, the Senators promised to ensure that as the interests of the Defence ministry were being addressed, the residents should be taken care of as well according to the constitution and other laws in the country.
Senator Dullo alleged that the KDF had been harassing the residents for years and also grabbed more land by extension of the boundary into their area where they had been keeping livestock and farming for more than 50 years.
Isiolo County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri said the surveyors will from Monday, this week identify the areas which the residents had encroached into the military land so that those affected could be asked to remove their property and voluntarily leave before the end of notice period.
“The notice expires on October 12 this year and the government wants the residents whose houses would be marked for removal from KDF land to do so before force is applied and destruction caused when people could salvage their property,” said the CC.
He added that the military has title deed for their land and the government wants those trespassing the defined area to leave so that they are not exposed to risks that go with training activities which may involve dangerous weapons.
“People should leave the land set aside for Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) so that the military could be left to carry out their exercises there as well as ensuring civilians do not trespass into the training area and endanger their lives,” Mr. Kanyiri said.
He advised the residents to ignore leaders who may be out to deceive them to refuse to leave the area through conducting demonstrations adding the protests will not help them.