13 February 2019

Kenya: Houses Set on Fire in Feud Over Land in Kilgoris

Tension has gripped a village in Kilgoris, Narok County, after a homestead of one of the residents was razed down in an alleged land dispute.

The property of Ms Ghati Mogendi, including three huts, farm harvests and other households were burnt down by suspected arsonists on Wednesday afternoon.

"I have lost everything. I don't know what to do and where to begin from," wailed Ms Mogendi, who allegedly lost her husband in similar attacks in the recent past.

The woman is said to have been away when the incident occurred near the border between Narok and Migori counties.

Kilgoris police boss David Wambua said the incident occured following a land dispute between two communities living in the area.

Mr Wambua said police officers have been deployed to keep the area safe.

"There is no tension at all. The situation is calm," added Mr Wambua.

However, some Kuria residents living in the area said they are living in fear of possible attacks.

"We fear that we may be attacked anytime as this has been the norm. We do not know where to run to as this is the only home we have known," said Sigore Weibe, a resident.

The area, which is near Kuria East in Migori County and Transmara in Narok county, has in the recent past witnessed skirmishes over land.

Members of the Kuria community, who live in the area, claim they are being forced from their lands by Kipsigis residents who allegedly claim ownership of the land.

On the other hand, the Kuria claim to have bought the lands and settled there.

"These lands belong to us as we bought them legally. We do not understand why we are being evicted," of the residents said.

The skirmishes have in the past left scores dead, others maimed and property worth millions of shillings destroyed.

There has however been calm since elders and authorities from both communities engaged in peace talks last year.

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