A report by The Standard on Sunday, October 11, indicated that Rachel Mutheu Ndambuki had been fighting land grabbers to stop them from taking over the 2,224-acre parcel of land since it was donated to squatters in 2013.
The activist had faced a myriad of challenges since taking over the battle including a forced demotion to Garissa from Taita Taveta where she headed the Survey Department.
In his ruling, Employment and Labour Court judge James Rika noted that Mutheu had suffered while fighting for squatters in the area.
“The petitioner was transferred and demoted, because she discharged her survey role at Ziwani Settlement Scheme, in accordance with the Constitution and the law. She protected genuine squatters against deprivation of what the settlement scheme offered,” stated the judge.
He further ordered Lands Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney and the Attorney General Kihara Kariuki’s office to make the payment as damages to Mutheu.
The parcel in question, which is part of the larger Gacheha farm in Taita Taveta County, was donated by the Kenyatta family to 850 squatters in the area.
In the allocation, the beneficiaries were to receive two acres each with the rest being set aside for public amenities such as schools and hospitals.
Mutheu sought to fight for the squatters after she discovered that 40 acres had been hived off illegally.
During the 2013 presidential debate, President Uhuru Kenyatta admitted that his family owned 30,000 acres of land in Taita Taveta County.
He noted that the parcel was obtained lawfully through the ‘willing buyer-willing-seller basis.’
“My family and I own land; we’ve not acquired land illegally. There is nothing to prove that my family has illegally acquired land,” he stated at the time.
Land ownership by the First Family has always been a subject of debate countrywide, with the matter continuously subjected to public scrutiny.