By Isah Asesa
Over 150 elders from the Kalenjin community who are members of Emo investment Limited which is a group of the Kalenjin community have welcomed the move by the Director of Criminal Investigations to launch investigations into allegations of a plot by cartels to grab part of 570 acre piece of land without consent from all shareholders.
The elders who spoke at an Eldoret hotel expressed confidence in the investigations urging the DCI George Kinoti to hasten the process in order to help the shareholders regain their land which they have been worried that cartels might use their influence to grab.
The controversial Sirgoit Farm is situated in Moiben constituency Uasin Gishu County and the elders are alleging mismanagement of shareholders’ funds and demanding truth about their funds and secret meetings about plans to sale 150 acre piece of land without their knowledge.
Led by Mzee Thomas Kemboi and Ambrose Kiprono, the elders warned buyers not to be duped.
They asked people interested in buying the land to conduct proper consultation and wait for the DCI report before spending their money purchasing the land.
“Truth is that we have never been involved in the plans and we are worried that our land might be taken by cartels through dubious means and influence,” said Mzee Kiprono.
They said Emo group was formed in 2006 for the purpose of empowering the community and 112,000 million shillings was collected from members to buy the land which was owned by a white settler at an affordable price for development purposes to members.
Last year the elders demonstrated at the 570 acre piece of land which they said was purchased using members money but now decisions about it are being made by few individuals who benefit on it as if it’s a personal property.
The elders have blamed the seven directors of the group for leasing the land to a private farmer and stopping them from cultivating the land and not giving members dividends.
They claimed that the directors have sold another 151 piece of land secretly and are planning to buy a story building in Eldoret town without consulting all members through an AGM.
They further claimed that for the 13 years the land has been leased to a private farmer, the directors have pocketed 30,000,000 from payment made by the farmer without disclosing to members.
“The land has already been subdivided and title deeds processed for some few members and that the directors have made a proposal to sale 150 acres of the land without consulting all members for approval,” added Mzee Kiprono.
They complained that the directors have been avoiding to hold an AGM to elect officials and share financial position of the group since 2006.
The elders want to be part of the approval exercise before the leasing of is done by the directors.
They added that they contributed between 20,000 and 100000 as shares to the group and some sold their property to get the money.
The elders said the amount collected in all branches of the group have not been accounted for and all initiated projects by the directors are non-existence and some of the branch offices have been closed leaving members in the dark.
However, Charles Kandie who is one of the directors being accused by the elders has insisted that there are no plans to sale 150 acre piece of land as claimed by the elders but the piece of land was set aside for business purposes.
He blames Mr Thomas Kemboi for continuously misleading the elders about developments on the land.