IDPs issue list of demand before General Election [video]

The National government has been urged to set up a secretariat that will oversee resettlement and compensation of scores of internally displaced persons (IDPs) whose cases have not been resolved.

Coordinator to National IDPs Network Ms Lucy Gitame said hundreds of 2007-2008 post-election victims were either to yet be compensated or occupy their farmers even as the government officially halted the exercise.

Speaking in Nakuru during a meeting of IDPs Ms Gitame observed that though both the regimes of President Mwai Kibaki and his successor Mr Kenyatta had made commendable progress in resolving the issue most beneficiaries were unable to occupy their farms due to court cases and slow processing of land ownership documents.

It emerged during the meeting that some of the farms bought by the state to settle IDPs were yet to be allocated to intended beneficiaries while out of the 200,000 victims who were to be paid Shs 200,000 each only 83,000 had received Shs 50,000 each.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) was also urged to reopen a probe on former members of National Coordination Consultative Committee (NCCC) on IDPPs over alleged loss of billions of shillings meant for resettlement of people displaced in the 2007/2008 post-election violence.

Ms Gitame said criminal charges had not been preferred against three prominent members of NCCC despite detectives having probed them and unearthed massive theft of funds.

The Coordinator to National IDPs Network claimed that though the committee was expected to play a crucial role in enabling the government to discharge its functions by facilitating the resettlement of the IDPs, its former members responsible for the loss had not been brought to account.

She warned that impostors masquerading as IDPs risked a ten-year jail term, a five million shillings fine or both, as per the Constitution.

Ms Gitame called on the government to review the compensation schedule and pay all the victims a flat rate of Shs 750,000 and stream line compensation packages of IDPS as while some individuals had received as little as Shs 10,000 others had been paid Shs 400,000 upwards.

She further petitioned the state to issue land ownership documents to IDPS who were resettled at Muhu farm and Pipeline area where land ownership wrangles between them and the local community have become commonplace.

Joseph Mutai, an internally displaced person called on politicians to conduct peaceful and mature campaigns to avert a recurrence of 2007 chaos.

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He said politicians were threatening the country’s social-economic stability by constantly putting the country on a five year electioneering cycle.

Bishop Kariuki Karanja challenged presidential aspirants to consider the plight of IDPs in their manifestos.

Bishop Karanja said it was time Kenya came up with a lasting solution to internal conflicts caused by bad politics, negative ethnicity, corruption and competition over resources.

At least 660,000 people were displaced during the 2007/2008 post-election violence as per reports from human rights organizations.

The Kibaki government started an elaborate Sh20.7 billion compensation scheme for the thousands of Kenyans affected by the violence, which was concluded by the Jubilee administration.

The National Treasury was in charge of the fund, but the payment was overseen by the National Coordination Consultative Committee (NCCC) under the Devolution and Planning ministry.

County commissioners that work under the Interior ministry coordinated the county payments.  In 2013, the Jubilee administration took over the compensation scheme.

The government through the Devolution ministry disbursed more than Sh17.5 billion as compensation for the IDPs.

Later corrupt cartels infiltrated the process and registered bogus IDPs at a fee. The fake IDPs later benefited from the fund at the expense of the genuine ones.

It also emerged that some 27,000 persons countrywide had been omitted from the Shs 50,000 compensation package.

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