Why Uasin gishu elders placed a curse on 570-acre Sergoit land belonging to EMO.

The row surrounding a disputed land in Moiben has taken a cultural dimension after aggrieved members of Emo Investment Limited, most of them now elderly, claimed to have placed a curse on the controversial land.

According to over 300 elders, the land had been cursed because of a prolonged dispute over its ownership.

The 570 acre land is part of the expansive Sirgoit Farm whose ownership has been disputed for about 15 years since it was bought by members of the EMO Investments Limited.

The members claim they collected money and purchased the land owned by a white settler in Uasin Gishu County at Sergoit Farm but it has been riddled in disputes.

“Some of our elders have died because of frustrations over this land. They raised all the money they had to buy the land only for a few people to take it over. We have cursed the land.” Elder Ambrose Arap Rono said.

The elders have warned parents not to allow their children their sons to undergo the traditional rite of passage within the farm this December.

“Circumcision is highly significant cultural practice and the initiates are innocent. They cannot go through such a cultural activity on cursed land. It will cause the community problems” Elder Julius Murei said.

According to the elders, EMO group was formed in 2006 for empowering the community.

The elders said that they are shareholders of the EMO group and raised more than Sh300 million to buy the land in 2006 but a section of officials had been misusing it for personal gain.

They accuse the officials of leasing out the land without informing them.

The aggrieved elders said they contributed between Sh20,000 and Sh100,000 as shares to the group.

“We sold our properties to raise funds that we used to buy between Sh.20, 000 and Sh.100,000, only for some seven directors to lease the same land to private farmers while denying rightful shareholders the right to till it or even give dividends the entire 15 years,” complained the elders.

They asked the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to make public a report of the probe that began one year ago about the mismanagement of EMO funds.

The elders have appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Lands CS Farida Karoney to intervene in the dispute.

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