The Kenyatta family started a settlement plan about three months ago which aims to settle groups of squatters living in the Sir Ramson area of the Gicheha Farm in Taventa county that is owned by the Kenyatta family. According to special sources, settlement has already begun.
The Taita Taveta Governor John Mruttu and Deputy County Commissioner Heribae Nkaduda, have also released statements that support these claims.
Mr Mruttu said:
“Kenyatta’s family has decided to settle the squatters living on the farm and the beneficiaries must accept what they will be given”. The family had handed over about 2,000 acres to settle the landless and the beneficiaries must accept what they will be given.
They also stated that more than 1,000 squatters living in Sir Ramson area, part of the large 30,000 acre Gicheha Farm belonging to the Kenyatta family in Taveta Sub-county, will benefit from the settlement programme that began three months ago.
Mruttu and Mr Nkaduda went on to reveal that Kenyatta’s family and officials from the Ministry of Lands are as of yet carrying out survey and planning on the large farm. According to Nkaduda’s statement released on Thursday:
“The Ministry of Lands’ technical staff are currently on the farm conducting survey and planning work. We expect the process to mature soon,”.
Mruttu listed those who will benefit from the programme to include Kenyans expelled from Tanzania in 1974 and ex sisal plantation workers.
Brookside Dairy Ltd General Manager in-charge of Gicheha Farms, John Gethi however refused to say anything concerning the on-going settlement programme.
“I am not in a position to comment about it. Since the settlement plan came up, there has been uproar over the way in which the settlement programme will be done as many fear they might get less than half of what they had before as a result of the ongoing survey. The beneficiaries purport some squatters might even be deprived of the settlement programme”.
Tsavo National Park extends over about 65 per cent of the total land area in Taita taveta County while private farms cover about 24 per cent.
Locals take up less than 12 per cent. Together, the Kenyatta and Basil Criticos families own a combined total of more than 82,000 acres of land in Taita Taveta. Approximately, more than 210,000 people of the entire Taita Taveta population of 284,000 people are squatters.