Tension is high among locals living in Ndeffo,Kihingo Ward of Njoro Sub County after officers from Kenya Forest Service and surveyors moved in to place new demarcation beacons on their land against the existing forest cutline.
The Locals who have been living in the area bordering Forest Reserve since the 1960s say they were not involved in any way during the process and now fear that the move will see them displaced.
They questioned the process wondering why area administrators such as Chiefs,ACCs and Njoro Deputy County Commissioner were not informed of the exercise.
According to them, it was wrong for Rongai Deputy County Commissioner to spearhead the process without the knowledge of the area local administrators.
Led by James Ndegwa Muigai,the locals are now calling on the government to come clean on the exercise and assure them security of their parcels of land.
“We are now living in fear because we just saw people with government vehicles come and started placing beacons.When we tried to question they said they were doing their job. We want the government to come and tell us the truth about this issue” said Muigai.
Sentiments echoed by Joyce Njenga who has lived in the area for the last 50 years.
The elderly Ms Njenga says the new beacons are now giving them sleepless nights since they are not sure of their fate despite having titles for their parcels of land.
Her cry is to the government through the concerned Ministries to step in and save the situation so as to avert conflicts.
“They have placed beacons even in my own land as you can see. Let President Uhuru Kenyatta visit this place and address the issue himself” said Ms Njenga.
Ndeffo Land Buying Company Limited’s Secretary Charles Mbugua condemned the government for trying to protect a private developer whom he claims altered the forest cutline.
He says the original map indicates that the Forest was the boundary cutline between locals and the forest.
Mbugua is now calling on the government to come out clean and explain to the locals why the same survey done in the past years is now being altered.
“We would like to know who is leading this exercise of placing beacons on peoples land. We would also like to know why the exercise is being done in secret without involving even our local administrators” said Mbugua.