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Uhuru’s cabinet pick caught up in land row on day of swearing in

New Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney has found herself at the centre of a bitter dispute over a piece of land at her home area in Nandi County, just few weeks after being picked by President Uhuru Kenyatta to head the docket.

On the day she was taking oath of office at State House in Nairobi, dozens of police officers were camping at Kamoywo in Chesumei constituency, to enforce a court order giving her permission to fence the piece of land.

Tension was high in the village for the better part of Friday after a contingent of Administration Police officers from Mosoriot were deployed to guard surveyors placing beacons on a 16-acre piece of land both Ms Karoney and the family of Athletics Kenya’s Youth Development boss Barnabas Korir are laying claim to.

ESTABLISHING BOUNDARIES

Earlier this week, Kapsabet senior resident magistrate Kesse Cherono ruled that the district surveyor and land registrar move to the disputed plot and survey it for purposes of establishing boundaries and fencing it.

Mr Korir’s family however resisted the implementation maintaining that they are the legitimate owners of the land.

They indicated that there was need to wait for a proper ruling by the court.

It took the intervention of Mosoriot OCS Nicholas Pera who led the security officers to cool down the rising temperatures between the family and youth who had arrived at the site ready to start fencing.

According to court documents seen by the Nation, the property is registered as Nandi/ Kamoywo 760.

On Friday, Ms Karoney insisted that the land belonged to her and that she had followed all the legal channels to acquire it from Linus Kogo last year.

‘NOTHING ILLEGAL’

“There is nothing illegal about the acquisition of this land. I bought it from someone who had a legal title deed and it has been legally transferred to me,” she said on phone.

She said the officers were sent to enforce a court order.

She said the person who sold her the property had acquired it through succession from her grandmother.

However, Mr Korir said that they had documents showing that the land belonged to them.

He said the initial owner, a Maria Chelagat, who is now deceased, sold it to their father Abraham Titomet Korir’s in 1968.