Dispute over sale of IDPs 162 acres continues to divide members

Controversy has continued to rock members of the IDPs group over the disposal of properties worth millions of shillings.

The former internally displaced persons that formerly camped at Mawingu, in Mirangine, Nyandarua County, had acquired 160 acres of land at Mawingu, two building block-making machines, and a vehicle, among other assets.

They were resettled by the government at Shalom Farm in the Makutano area of Laikipia County in 2012, with the majority of the members agreeing to sell and share the proceeds of the properties among the 3,200 members, but efforts to share them equally have always hit a snag.

Faction members, led by their treasurer, Sera Muthoni Kimani, and 23 other members, had been blocking the process to sell the properties. In 2016, the splinter group obtained a court order blocking the process of selling the property when the other group, led by their National Chairman Peter Kariuki, went to meet five prospective buyers at the then Nyandarua County Commissioner Joseph Kimiti’s office in Ol Kalou town.

The order that had been obtained from the High Court in Nakuru was served on Kariuki and his vice chairman, Michael Wainaina.

In October 2021, the Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Nyahururu ruled in favor of the Kariuki-led group, allowing the sale of the properties. Speaking at Shalom Farm in Makutano, Laikipia County, the former IDPs (now RIVAI CBO) vice chair, Michael Wainaina, said they bought the land 16 years ago after each member contributed KES 10, 000.

He noted that after the government resettled all IDPs who were at the Mawingu camp, they came up with the decision to sell the properties they jointly owned and share the proceeds.

Wainaina said they could make up to KES 100 million from the sale, adding that the other group could have developed other desires upon realizing the millions of shillings the property was likely to fetch.

He said they had decided to refund each member’s initial contribution before sharing the rest of the proceeds equally among themselves. James Maina said selling the land would allow the development of their current settlement at Shalom Farm.

Phyllis Njuguna, another member, said that the majority of them had not fully developed their current settlement at Shalom, yet their land at Mawingu has been lying idle.

Samwel Ndegwa said that the majority of them had signed and agreed that the property be sold off and each family gets its share. They have since asked their officials to represent the interests of the group and sell the group’s assets.

They noted that they had already identified a buyer and would move to the farm next week to have those still camping at the farm move out. The other faction, however, has vowed that they will not allow the land to be sold off until they reach a consensus.

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