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Vol 41 No 14

Published 7th July 2000


A tangled web

The government opposes land-grabs, which could threaten its own estates

'We do not wish to be infected by the Zimbabwe virus'. That was how the head of Kenya's civil service, Richard Leakey, reacted to press reports in early June that squatters had occupied land belonging to Basil Criticos in Taita District, Coast Province. Criticos, who was then a deputy Minister of Tourism, had complained that some 300 acres (120 hectares) of his land had been forcibly taken over, following bellicose statements ('Grab all white-owned land') by Stephen Ndicho, a Kikuyu opposition member of parliament from Thika near Nairobi. Leakey said that there had been no land seizure of the kind anywhere in the country and that police would swiftly stop it if it happened. President Daniel arap Moi supported Leakey's statement and fired the Minister for creating unnecessary alarm.

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