Shakahola land battle: Chakama Ranch directors claim ownership, say Mackenzie encroached
The controversy surrounding 50,000 acres of the Chakama Ranch in dispute deep inside Shakahola Forest has continued to escalate.
This after the owners of the Chakama Ranch Limited, led by their directors, came out to claim ownership of the land.
According to documents seen by Citizen Digital, this includes a title deed number 17503 issued on December 1, 1984 by the then municipality of West Malindi, now Kilifi County. They acquired 100,000 acres under Chakama Ranch Limited.
Alfred Mwathethe, Secretary General of the Chakama Ranch Limited, said; “Sisi ndio wamiliki halisi, yeyote anayetaka kusema ni yake atoe ushahidi.”
Joseph Yeri, a member of Chakama Ranch Limited, said; “This is the land we bought and it shows clearly where the demarcations are.”
The land was sub-divided between Chakama Ranch and the government which is said to have bought 50,000 acres to settle squatters through land registration number 13472; the directors say they own 50,000 acres of land deep inside the Shakahola Forest.
“When we acquired that land, there was nobody, that’s why we applied for grazing of cattle,” said Mr. Yeri.
The directors claim to have leased 30,000 acres to an investor who took up a loan of Ksh.60 million and failed to pay and now they owe the bank Ksh.80 million.
In his last visit to Shakahola Forest, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki met the directors of Chakama Ranch in a bid to understand who owns the land and how controversial cult leader Paul Mackenzie acquired the land.
According to Chakama Ranch Limited, Mackenzie encroached on their land in 2021. They reported the matter at Lango Baya Police Station through OB number 04/04/08/2021 at 12.02 pm but no action was taken.
They claim they had plans to invest in the 20,000 acres left in June 2023 but after the Shakahola tragedy and curfew imposed on the 100,000 acre piece of land, their plans are hanging in the balance, and they’re now asking the government to allow them access the 20,000 acres.
David Ngowa, another member, said: “Tuko na nia ya kufanya ufugaji na kilimo cha pamba...twaomba serikali kile kipande kilichobaki watupe.”
“We also have investors from Canada and Germany who want to invest there,” Mr. Yeri added.
Mr. Yeri, who served as Member of Parliament of the then Malindi North Constituency from 1974 to 1983, now Magarini Constituency, has also distanced himself from accusations by the elders living in Shakahola that he aided Chakama Ranch Limited to acquire the title deed and that the land belongs to the 5 clan groups that welcomed Mackenzie to the forest.
“by the time Chakama Ranch Limited walikuwa wananunua mimi sikuwa mbunge, nilikuwa nimetoka, kwa hivyo sio ukweli hata kidogo,” he said.
The government has launched investigations to ascertain who rightfully owns the land.
No comments yet.