Promises made to displaced farmers in Kenya not honored
Farmers there have been relocated illegally, government says
Thousands were displaced by Kenya post-election in the
years 2007 and 2008. Many have taken refuge on lands northwest of
Nairobi, where their government has promised them one-acre farms to
till. Many of those promises have remained not kept many years later.
The government says that many of these displaced people have been moved
Thousands were displaced by Kenya post-election in the years 2007 and 2008. Many have taken refuge on lands northwest of Nairobi, where their government has promised them one-acre farms to till. Many of those promises have remained not kept many years later.
Mondo says that other government ministries like the Ministries of Land, Agriculture, Water, Roads and Education need to be involved in assessing and endorsing the land, and settling those displaced by the turmoil.
Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta had set aside $60 million dollars for resettling displaced people. However, the process of resettlement has been characterized by corruption, tribalism and hostility to the refugees.
The government launched an investigation last year into a missing $2 million dollars that had been set aside for resettlement. The funds had allegedly been misappropriated by officials in various ministries and even representatives of the refugees.
The post-election violence of 2007 and 2008 displaced over 660,000 people. Over half of these were displaced in the Rift Valley Province. While more than 300,000 families have returned to their farms, and their ethnic homelands in Central, Nyanza and Western Provinces, many have sold the homes they were forced to flee and have since bought land elsewhere.
There still remains over 15,000 families displaced by the post-election violence awaiting their land settlements in Rift Valley Province, which is the largest province in Kenya. Each family has an average of five children.
"These are the people we recognize, plus the 5,710 families evacuated from the Mau Forest in 2009 who are camping in three major camps along the forest boundary," Mondo says.
The refugees at Mumoi farm deny allegations that they are not victims of the post-election violence and claim that the government wanted to resettle them in Central Province against their will.
"The government told all (displaced people) in the country to identify suitable land for themselves and alert the concerned ministry if they find it. That is what we did. We found this land and the seller is willing to sell it to us," Ibrahim Kihara, spokesperson at Mumoi farm says.
Not everyone is happy politicians have become embroiled in the row to resettle refugees. A group of over 2,000 displaced persons from the country's largest camp at Mawingu took to the streets early January to protest against being taken advantage of by politicians.
"Politicians should stop misleading the IDPs, and politicizing the resettlement issue to get votes in the forthcoming elections," Osman Warfa, the Provincial Commissioner for Rift Valley Province says.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
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Keywords: Kenya, displaced persons, farmers, Mumoi farm
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