Pupils, parents protest over land grabbing
BY ROBERT KARIUKI LODWAR, TURKANA CENTRAL
Land grabbing is back in the news again. This time is no different from past incidences where alleged land grabbers set up structures in a given piece of land without minding about the implications to the rest of the communities. From Lodwar mixed primary school playground to Nakwamekwi and Napetet markets and now AIC Nakuluja primary school, land grabbers are targeting learning institutions land.
But on March 2, AIC Nakuluja pupils along with their parents,teachers and the school committee demonstrated against an attempted grabbing of their school compound.
The pupils marched to the Governor’s office carrying placards with an appeal to the county administration to urgently address the matter.
The school, which is owned by the African Inland Church, had already petitioned court-claiming ownership of the land. Subsequently, a court was issued stopping any activity from taking place on the disputed land.
However, the developer ignored it and continued with construction work sparking off the protest. The demonstrators questioned why the developer defied Kitale’s high court order where the case is still pending.
They also raised concern why the police failed to enforce the orders issued.
Speaking on behalf of the protestors at the Governor’s office, Reverend David Nakain complained that the pupils were not learning in a conducive environment at the moment and added that the issue is disrupting learning activities.
“These children are studying in an unfavourable environment at the moment, they are not studying peacefully and it would be unfair for our kids to learn while they are being disrupted. That will make them lose focus, so we urge the government to provide security in the land until the court makes a ruling,” Reverend Nakain said.
Sources say three parties are claiming ownership of the land including the church, which was planning to put up a girls’ dormitory in the disputed land. Governor Nanok promised a 24-hour security deployment to prevent any activity from taking place. “Let us all be calm, I understand the magnitude of the issue and from and the court makes a ruling,” said
“We as a county government cannot get involved with this issue deeper at this stage because it is pending in court. We will only get involved when the court summons us as potential witnesses and that is when we will give our testimony but until then let’s remain hopeful this will end soon,” he added. The Governor assured the pupils and teachers of their safety and requested the school head teacher, Mr. Francis Erukudi to continue with the learning activities in the school.
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