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Battle for ancestral land

Guung’ombe Village is located on plot number MN/11/501. Over 150 people reside on this land. The residents have inhabited the village for over eight decades having settled there in 1918. 

The land on which the village rests was given  in 1918 by Dr.W.A Bowen, an army doctor in the World War1.The community lived harmoniously with the then purported owner. In 1940s however, the doctor disappeared mysteriously.

The Guung’ombe families have worked closely with ActionAid Bamburi Local Right Programme  since 2009. This followed a number of trainings and awareness forums on land rights and the legal processes to acquire land. Guung’ombe village land committee was formed following these awareness creation sessions.

By October 2009, the residents through their committee wrote to the Commissioner of Lands requesting for its adjudication of the land.

In January 2010, some elders were summoned to the District Officer’s office where they were informed that they were squatting on private developer’s land. The private developer (The Power Group of Companies) through the Provincial Administration (the District Commissioner, District Officer and  Assistant Chief), the police, the area Member of Parliament and Mombasa Mayor made frantic efforts to lure the people with large sums of money to vacate the land willingly.

The community confronted the administration police resulting into shooting of some community members. Six people were arrested and charged with incitement.

The residents have remained strong and firm resisting attempts to evict them.

They have managed to put a caveat to stop the private developer from undertaking any activity till the case is determined in a court of Law.

Gung’ombe village land committee conduct village meeting every Monday. The community makes some small contributions to support their ongoing land case which is under caveat. The Gungombe village committee submitted their petition to the National Land Commission demanding that they be given back their land.