KWS officers shoot at Gede residents in Kilifi ranch row

Kilifi ranch

KWS rangers have fired at least three bullets to disperse Gede residents who were driving livestock from the Kilifi ranch.

According to the residents, the KWS rangers were hired by Amin Islam of Magram butchery.

They are accusing security agencies in Ganze sub county of siding with the investor who has oppressed them for the past 25 years.

Ganze sub county police commander Timothy Muasya said he is yet to receive a report from the Bamba Police Station OCS.

Magram butchery leased 35 acres of ranching land within the Kilifi ranch. Residents are however against the lease which Magram entered with Kilifi ranch Limited, a ranching company that claims to own the 103.6 hectares of land.

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The land has got no title and the county government of Kilifi is in the process of registering it.

It is not yet clear which documents Kilifi Ranch Company limited used to lease the land to Magram.

For some time now, the residents have been engaging the investor to pay them or he takes his livestock out of the area.

The are accusing the directors of the Kilifi ranch company limited for using a similar approach that led to the grabbing of the Giriama ranch

Barisa Hiyesa, a resident from the Watha community said Magram has gone against the demands of a committee that was put in place in July this year to act as a link between the community and the investors in a move to ensure that they benefit from lease fee.

They blamed Joseph Fondo, a senior agricultural officer with the county government of Kilifi as the mastermind of the whole saga.

“Fondo is a resident of Bamba but he has been the one benefiting from our land here in Gede. He is the director of the Kilifi ranch Company Limited which claims to own this land and he does not have even a single inch of land here. This land has no title deed but they have leased it to Magram and they have been pocketing millions of money which should go to the community,” said Hiyesa.

Fondo said he would reply to the allegation later but by the time of going to press he did not pick calls nor reply to texts.

Magram said he had leased 35 acres and was ready to pay the community if they produce ownership documents.

Another resident, Changawa Karisa said the Agricultural officer convinced Magram to give them the money on claims that they own the land.

“We have done search from the lands department in Kilifi and went to the regional Commissioner who was John Elung’ata by then who advised us to form a committee to enable the community benefit from its resources. The committee was to initiate development projects on behalf of the committee,” he said.

However, the purported directors have gone ahead and stopped some investors from giving their share to the community and he is directly paying them on claims that they are the owners of the Kilifi Ranch.

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