IDPs seek nod to farm on disputed land

Report
from Kenya Daily Nation
Published on 27 Feb 2014 View Original

Post-election violence victims on Thursday asked the government to negotiate with sellers of a 750-acre farm it bought to resettle them so that they can be allowed to grow crops.

The chairman of the 267 families, Mr Samuel Kuria, said that would ease their food problems as they await completion of a civil suit filed over a dispute arising from sharing of the Sh97.5 million paid by the government for the property.

Mr Kuria said they were keen to grow crops and rebuild their lives once the sub-division was done, complaining that the long delay was making them lose hope.

The government has dragged its feet on the matter for the past three years, he added.

The families moved on the late Benson Njoroge Wamanji’s farm after the government bought it from the estate’s administrator. But a dispute arose over sharing of the money, leading to the filing of a civil suit by some of the relatives.

DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL

The court then issued a temporary order halting the farm’s subdivision and any activity on the property until the matter was heard and determined.

“For three years, we have lived in tents. Our children have since dropped out of school while we have no food to eat since the order blocks us from cultivating the farm bought for us by the government,” said Mr Kuria.

The government bought the land and transferred to the Settlement Fund Trustees, which subsequently allocated it to the post-election victims.

Mr Kuria appealed to the government and well-wishers to help them with seeds and fertiliser to ease their reliance on handouts, saying the State had reduced food rations given to them every four months.

He also appealed to the government to post security officers to the camp. Some members have built a three-room house for officers, he added.