The government has been directed not to evict over 10,000 families living at the Inyali settlement in Kitui County pending the hearing and determination of a petition filed by the residents.
“A conservatory order be and is hereby issued by way of injunction restraining the respondents from evicting the petitioners or in any way interfering with or curtailing the petitioners quiet and peaceful possession of Inyali settlement in Mutomo sub-county, Kitui County,” reads part of the court order.
The government has also been directed not to interfere with the petitioner’s livestock within the property or in any other manner profiling the petitioners pending inter-parties hearing of the application.
The petitioners argue that the over 10,000 people living at the Inyali settlement are of both Somali and Oromo origin cutting across all ages from minors to the very old, adding that they have been tending their herds and carrying on other economic activities on the property.
In the petition filed at the Milimani Law Court, the residents claim they have been occupying and residing on the property peacefully for over 35 years with many of them born raised and educated there.
Similarly, they argue that the dimensions and boundaries of the said property are vast and host over 5,000 cattle , 4000 camels and 6,000 goats belonging to them.
They claim that as from October 8, this year they have been subjected to immense, harassment, torture and inhuman and degrading treatment meted out by officers working under the behest of the Interior Cabinet Secretary, Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General, who have been listed as respondent.
Also named as respondents in the case is the County Government of Kitui and the National Land Commission.
They have accused the Kitui County Government and the police of illegally invading the property and threatening to displace and evict them.
“The respondents have deployed security agents who have been traversing the settlement and executing all manner of violations of the petitioners rights,”reads the petition.