Governor among 2000 facing eviction from Leisure lodge land

Leisure LodgeAerial view of Darad land that high court has ordered alleged squatters to leave or be evicted for sitting on Leisure lodge resort land illegally, about 2000 people are affected including governors and top politicians in Kenya.

A vocal governor from the central region is among 2000 Kwale squatters staring at eviction after losing a court battle against Leisure lodge resort.

The squatters dismissed the court ruling and said they will stay put.

The high court last week ruled that the squatters are trespassers on the leisure lodge limited 187 acres of land located at Darad area in Msambweni, Kwale county.

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Shee Mwamwindi, a politician in Kwale argued that the land in question was allocated to locals by the government after an agreement with the hotel.

“The person who has gone to court to claim ownership of the land knows nothing about it because he took ownership of leisure lodge in 2000 while the transaction of the land was done in 1993-1994,” he said.

According to Mwamwindi, the government has all information about the land agreement between the hotel and locals in the area which the court failed to consider.

“The hotel owner gave out the land in exchange of a settlement scheme which was near his hotel. He wanted to make a golf course but his parcel of land was far from the hotel hence the agreement. All documentations were done and agreement to the extent of a gazette notice in July 9. 2010 about the same issue are available,” he said.

He said after the swapping of the land was done genuinely through land offices, locals owning the land sold part of it to investors from different parts of the country.

“Even if they come with firearms or bull dozers, nobody is leaving this place,” he said.

Former nominated MCA and Jubilee activist in Kwale Fatuma Nchizumo warned that Leisure lodge resort risk closing its doors after the expiry of the leased land it is occupying for rattling peaceful locals.

 “We will not allow the hotel to renew its expired leased land because they have proved not to relate well with the community around, “she said.

She said that the Leisure lodge resort lease expired in 2013 after being issued in 1914 by the government to do business.

The alleged squatters wondered why the court ruling was delivered at 7:30 pm instead of normal working hours.

Bongwe Gombato MCA Hamisi Matumizi said that as Kwale leadership they will not allow the eviction to take place since the area is an economic zone for the county.

He said that the county government will take over the issue to look for solution as they appeal the court ruling.

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