In 1993, residents of Nyawara village in Rambula within Ugunja Sub County, tired of walking long distances to seek government services, sought to have a chief’s camp in the area. There was then request for anybody who could donate land for that purpose. Thirty-seven year old Joshua Otieno’s parents’ land was ready for the purpose.“My widowed mother, Leah Akinyi thought this was a good initiative and she offered to donate half an acre of her vast parcel which measured about five acres registered under number 174,” said Otieno.
Area Councilor Paul Ochieng came in to mediate, and after an agreement was reached, the implementers of the project built her a house, and offered her some shopping to appreciate her generosity.Otieno says his family continued to till the remaining part which bordered the Chief’s Camp. And after the death of her mother in the mid-2000, he donated part of the same land to his Believers Tarbanacle Church to put up a worshiping structure.
It was in 2015 that Otieno got the shock of his life. He had gone to cut a tree on what he believed was their family land, when the area administration stopped him, accusing him of trespassing into a government facility to cut trees.His defense was met with a call for a land surveyor who came and did the measurements which showed that even the church was within the compound of the Chief’s Camp.“I was shocked, because instead of half an acre, the surveyor was claiming that the Chief’s Camp was sitting on one and a half acre piece of land as indicated in the map,” said Otieno.
He claims his mother had sold part of the land to BenardOdero and another buyer called Judith Nyagweth. And during the surveying, it was discovered that Odero’s land had eaten into over three-quarters of Nyagweth’s land.Otieno claims that Odero, who is the area MCA is the one who had been tasked with processing the transfer of the land donated to the Chief’s Camp, as well as his portion. Otieno however suspects that during the transfer, to which no family member was involved, Otieno may have taken advantage to grab a big chunk of his family land.
Nyagweth who has lost her parcel to Odero now wants Otieno’s family to compensate her with another piece of land, as she accuses Otieno’s family of having resold her parcel to Odero.Efforts to normalize the matter has been in vain, with Otieno saying Odero has been frustrating his efforts through the Land Registry in Ukwala, and even through the other administrative routes.His aim is to have the land resurveyed, and every person gets his or her rightful portion, including the chiefs camp.
Otieno contacts: 0701399261