A human rights organization has moved to court to stop operations on land belonging to the Bambani community in Kilifi.
The Commission for Human Rights and Justice in a case filed on march 29, 2023 at the Environment and Land Court in Malindi wants the courts to block Bambani Kilio Community Based Organization from interfering or selling any parcel of land at Vipingo within Kilifi.
The human rights lobby group is accusing the ministry of lands, the attorney general and the county government of Kilifi of colluding with individuals purporting to be officials of the Bambani Community Based Organisation to illegally acquire the land measuring 325:0 hectares.
The first respondent in the case is the Director Land Administration in the ministry of Land Public work, Housing and Urban development and is charged with the duty to oversee Land Administration and management.
The second respondent is the County Land Registrar, Kilifi County whose duties among other entails verification, Registration and issuance of title deeds, Lease, among other documents of title to Land Act.
The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Lands Public works Housing and the Attorney General are also respondents.
The individuals being accused of allocating themselves the community land and are the holders of leasehold title being Certificate of Title Number CR 79015 are Wycliffe Tembe Mwangome, Nyambao Kungu Iha, Joseph Karisa Fondo, Esther Kache Mwayele and Geoffrey Kamau Ngoiya who listed as 5th to 9th respondents respectively.
The Director Land Administration and the Ministry in the case have been accused of violating the Rights of the Local Community resident in south of Takaungu by allocating and causing Land to be Leased and registered in the name of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th Respondents and not Leasing and registering the same in the name of Bambani Kilio Community Based Organization(C.B.O).
The 5th to 9th respondents as per the petition have now alienated the suit parcel for their personal use and in the process of selling and transferring the same contrary to the express terms of the Lease.
The lobby group want the court to find it that the 5th to 9th Respondents acts are illegal, wrongful andamounts to misappropriation of Land which was intended to be for Community
“The consequence thereof is violation of the Rights of the members of the community and the same is without any sanction of Law,” part of the petition reads.
According to the lobby group, the Bamabi CBO that illegally owns the land was registered under the Ministry of Labour Social Security and Services with a mandate to champion Land Rights of the community and also seek resolution of historical Land injustice.
It argues that the government and county government after listening to the CBO over the land located within Takaungu and Kikambala agreed to grant ownership to the community after a verification process in the year 2020.
However, the petition also recognizes that at the time of registration of Lease for the said grant of Land, Registration and issuance of title CR NUMBER 79015 Land Reference was issued and Registered in the names of the 5th to 9th respondent jointly.
The petition further indicates that the 5th to 9th Respondent have since subdivided the parcel of Land and are in the process of selling and transferring to other people and not the intended beneficiaries who are members of Bambani Kilio community.
“The Respondents’ acts of Commission and Omission violate the Rights of the members of Bambani community as enshrined in article 40 of the constitution. The Respondents actions are intended to defeat the object of the provision of section 4 of the Land Act Act No.6 of 2012,” it further reads.
In their prayers, the lobby group wants the court to establish whether the action of grants, leasing registration, issuing certificate of title deeds amounts to violation of the Rights of the members of Bambani community as envisaged under Article 40 of the Constitution.
It also wants the court to establish whether the 5th to 9th Respondent action of selling and transferring the land to third parties other than members of Bambani Community is a violation of the objective and mandate of the said C.B.O.
It also wants an order directing the ministry of lands and the county government of Kilifi to cancel the grant and recall the certificate of title for cancellation.
The lobby has also written to the asset and recovery unit at the directorate of criminal investigations to freeze the CBO’s bank accounts, it also wants the state to cancel the certificate until the case is heard and determined.
Key politicians and business people have also been mentioned in the saga.