Kidero and Ranguma case on encroachment of Lake Victoria’s wetland to continue in November

by Mahakamani News
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The Environment and Lands Courts of Kisumu has set a date in November for the hearing of the land suit against former governors Evans Kidero and Jack Ranguma.

Jointly, the two and Alice Kaudia – a former Kisumu County Government Environment Secretary will set to defend themselves in a case where they are sued for extending their land parcels Kisumu/Korando 3755, 3756, and Kisumu/Kogony/3583 onto a wetland area located around Lake Victoria.

In 2018, ELC Judge Justice Kibunja issued an order restricting the former governors from engaging in activities that were likely to cause environmental harm on Lake Victoria.

The protracted case started in 2013 when Mr. Michael Otieno Nyaguti, the chairman of Magnam Environmental Network, sued Mr. Ranguma, Mr. Kidero, and Ms. Kaudia for the encroachment of Lake Victoria’s riparian land.

Also listed as defendants in the suit are the Director of National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) as well as the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.

A deposition by Mr. Nyaguti had informed the court that the three defendants had already fenced off the parcels of land to extend beyond their demarcated boundaries. According to him, these actions violated the Constitution if not to the detriment of Kisumu county residents and future generations.

Furthermore, a survey conducted pursuant to a court order revealed that the boundaries of the parcels of land had encroached the contested riparian land.

The survey report done by surveyor Geoffrey Mbok established that Mr. Jack Ranguma had demarcated his land to include a part of the lake reserve. The concrete fence was triangular shaped and had hived off approximately 0.2 acres or thereabouts from the lake reserve.

Additionally, according to the survey report, five allotments belonging to Evans Kidero were unavailable at the Lands registry. Consequently, they were never surveyed.

Finally, according to Mr. Mbok, A fence on Kaudia’s parcel of land Kisumu/Kogony/3583 had massively encroached the lake reserve and an access road.

“There are two semi-permanent houses that have been erected in this fenced region of the lake reserve. The access road along the lake as indicated on the map is not in use as per the time of the survey,” Mbok argued.

The case will be heard and determined by ELC Judge Anthony Ombwayo.

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