IDPS IN CAMPS
The country sighed with half relief as the Afraha High school bus led convoy snaked its way through Nakuru headed to Entebbe Kitale. As the optimistic news was aired, I reluctantly gave my cousin my reservations about a possibility of a backfire.
I never had any intelligence reports, but in my student days in Trans Nzoia, there were undertones on the Entebbe land. As such, the Saboti Land Defense Forces used to terrorize people within that region. The Kenyan military heavy handedly dealt with the SLDF and there is a sincere calm within the region. My reservations were in two folds. This is a region riddled with squatter problem and there are clear negligent acts by the government.
JAMES Orengo, the minister’s commitment to identify suitable land is questionable
Trans Nzoia is a home for several squatters; this does not excuse a rejection by the locals of colleague Kenyans who the government would wish to settle in a legitimately bought land.
However, the resettlement exercise is raising more questions than answers. Is the government absconding its duty of providing the basics to the citizens or is the resettlement another decoy to both condone impunity and enrich the leadership?
The Internally displaced persons at one point owned legitimate land even if such ownership has historical pitfalls. The biggest question is what happened to this land?
Since the Kenyan government has not provided any convincing response, speculation is within my constitutional right to opinion.
The Government concedes that the settlement was an illegality: A decision to do nothing would mean the government concedes that these people were illegal settlers and the violence meted out on them was a trespass right of expulsion being exercised by rightful owners. As a matter of fact, this could explain why taxpayers’ money was used in treating the Ocampo six to luxurious Hotels in Hague. Among the rights of the accused, article 50 (2) h provides for an accused being given an advocate at the state’s expense incase substantial injustice would occur. In light of the High Courts ruling in the matter of Daniel Muchiri Njoroge V Republic eklr (2011), well, the ICC accused qualified for an advocate. However, no where would this justify a Kenyan ambassador welcoming court bound suspects in the airport and classy cars whisking them away in a dignified manner. The state would well be saying, the 2007/2008 occurrences were a justified redress measure. But even then, the locals who expelled the IDPS would themselves be candidates of an internal strife. At least I am thinking on how they would share the spoils among themselves.
These people owned land legitimately, if the government believes there are historical injustices that should redressed, and indeed there are, these lands should be profiled and possibly handed to The National Land Commission for redress action.
However, the most pressing issue is achieving fundamental cohesion in the country so that all citizens can be accepted anywhere. This is an exigency that has obviously escaped the indolent eye of the leadership.
The political bigotry that gives a false sense of unity among antagonistic tribes is being quashed with the immediacy it deserves. The truth is that Kalenjin Kikuyu unity can never be achieved by political pronouncements on JKIA lounge. The basic causes must be addressed and this is the truth. Unless this is done, we are a false society that would wish to thrive on superficial assumptions.
The resettlement process could equally turn out as another triton or Goldenberg. Multiple purchases would definitely broaden chances of graft and unaccountability. What would happen to this land where these Kenyan are being painfully rejected?
Is this exercise digging even deeper fissures in our social fabric? How does it feel to be rejected by a society, are these IDPS outcasts or is it a creation of the status quo to ensure perpetual instability for political gains? Why wouldn’t the government establish uncontroversial spots for resettlement? A government that has a deep network of intelligence machinery could not establish the likely reaction of locals?
Raila- A chance to create a lasting legacy
Well, they have always benefited from partisan support and the best way to get such support would be to create emotions in sections of the society. They are managing well, a section of Kenya feels alienated, someone will benefit from this emotions. Hope, we don’t bring our country to the 2007 like unprecedented retreat.
Some matters need more than a sit fencing presidency and a politically conscious premiership. The unity of the country for posterity is at stake and the President in Kibaki needs to come out decisively even once for the sake of Kenya. Raila needs to emancipate himself from the chains of presidential ambitions and stand out for the country.
In this matter, I would urge peripheral participation of the two political adolescents in Ruto and Uhuru for theirs would be concerns of convenience; majorly to create an appeal and safeguard their empires.
Kibaki will be surely leaving the presidency and Raila may genuinely not vie for the presidency, can they seize the moment and unite the country. It would definitely be a plus to their legacies.
President Kibaki- His fence sitting nature is not helping matters