Kithumuoni village in Mumoni sub county, Kitui is a village with strange tales as they do not inter their loved ones in their ancestral land.
James Kimanzi Kiteme, a villager said the problem started in 1985 where officers who claimed to be belonging to Tana and Athi Rivers Development Authority, [TARDA] gave small tokens to the villagers who live 6 kilometers from Kiambere dam as they wanted a road to access the dam.
“We only hear that they bought the lands near the dam but many say they were being given between 500- 700 shillings per hectare back in 1985,” noted James.
Since then, the villagers have been issued with threats of being evicted from the land which they claim is their ancestral land and letters to evict them were circulated three days ago demanding them to vacate the premise immediately.
Kimanzi said 6 years ago, the threats became more intense and were ordered not to bury their loved in the land as it belonged to TARDA.
“We have abandoned many bodies in the mortuaries as we have nowhere to burry them. Others have borrowed/bought pieces of land in the neighborhood to bury the dead,” said Kimanzi.
The villagers can no longer cultivate in their farms also as they said they are normally arrested once caught farming on the land.
Pius Muneni, a villager said he lost his wife in 2016 whose body was preserved in Embu hospital mortuary.
Muneni said he was demanded to burry a sheep in the grave that he had dug to bury his wife thus being forced to inter her where she was born.
“TARDA officers said we can not bury the dead in their land when we had already moved the body from the mortuary. We traveled at night to my wife’s place to inter her after being ordered not to bury her at our home,” recalled Muneni.
He pleaded with both governments to intervene and rescue them as they said are being tortured in their own land.
Muisyo Kithome, another villager said he lost his sister in law in 2017.
Seeking for a burial permit from the local administration, they said TARDA had ordered cessation of burying dead bodies on the land.
“We pleaded to our neighbors and they allocated us a small piece of land where we buried her and were forced to burry a sheep on the grave we had dug to inter her,” narrated Muisyo.Ends.