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She is poor, sick, elderly and reeling under the weight of hopelessness.



She is poor, sick, elderly and reeling under the weight of hopelessness.

She is poor, sick, elderly and reeling under the weight of hopelessness.

She is persistently uncertain where her next meal will come from.

For nearly two decades, 72-year-old Mary Matiri, a widow who lives in Pipe Line within Nakuru East Sub-County has known no peace and comfort as a result of a protracted land tussle.

Ms Matiri has sought help from every corner of this country for the past 16 years without success.

The widow, her four children and six grandchildren have been rendered homeless after a mob demolished their home and threw their belongings out of the 1/8 of acre plot in the wee hours of today.

The long standing dispute that started in 2004 led to the loss of their piece of land after it was allegedly sold without their knowledge by the original owner to a second buyer.

Matiri says they entered an agreement and she paid Shs 65,000 with the owner (name withheld) promising to process land ownership documents after exhausting the due process.

The widow learnt two years later that the land agent had sold the same piece of land to another buyer and had issued her with land ownership documents.

Ms Matiri was widowed in 2001 when her husband died.

Not even the police at Lanet Station and local administrators have been of much help to the elderly peasant.

In 2006, Ms Matiri lodged a complaint at the chief’s offices and at Lanet Police Station and they all ruled in her favor after she produced a sale agreement.

The chiefs and police had the seller make an undertaking in writing that he would buy the widow an alternative parcel of land but he disappeared and went into hiding for two years.

The distraught widow says the agent has never denied that he sold her the land but on the ground, the second owner has always been threatening her with undisclosed consequences before she sold the land recently to another party.

Ms Matiri says she is worried because the newest buyer defied a directive by an Assistant County Commissioner not to evict her until the arbitration process over the dispute that was being handled by his office is concluded.

The widow who is visibly worn out, sick and struggling to support herself financially, is at her wits end  after the new owner moved to court claiming he acquired the land legally and sought orders to evict her.

She dreads the prospects of being left homeless after the purported buyer visited the premises armed with an eviction order from court in company of what she describes as mean looking men.

Last year she lodged a complaint at the Nakuru lands offices and the lands tribunal where the seller who had been arrested on orders of the Assistant County Commissioner was yet again asked to allocate her an alternative land.

“He went into hiding and I have never seen him until now when the demolition squad descended on my home”

She is appealing to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, the office of the ombudsman and the County government of Nakuru to intervene to enable her get justice.

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