By Beauttah Omanga
The community’s spokesman, Joseph Sigilai, said the community suffered heavily in the hands of colonialists and wanted compensation from Britain as soon as possible failure to which they will institute legal action.
“ There are hard facts that our people were tortured by the colonialists besides us being pushed from our fertile parcels of land to create room for the current tea estates that has benefited other people as we languish in poverty,” said Sigilai.
Speaking during the celebrations marked with traditional songs and dance, the Kalenjin sub tribe spokesman said they were keenly watching how the Mau Mau fighter’s case was being dealt with before instructing lawyers to commence legal action seeking compensation.
The youth were reminded of the role their community’s leader, the late Arap Koilegen, played in resisting the colonialists leading to his torture and eventual displacement of his people from Kericho in the early 1940s.
He said the community was also demanding land from the Government as promised saying since they retreated to their ancestral homes within Kericho County, they have been accommodated by relatives some of whom have now run out of patience.
“ We came back to Kericho in 1996 and we were accepted and accommodated by our distant relatives. Due to pressure on land, some of us are now being told to seek land elsewhere rendering us squatters once again,” said Sigilai. He said the Government only managed to settle 515 families out of a total 5,574.
“We are still being told to be patient. We have run out of patience as the Government seems to be buying time as we suffer,” said Sigilai.
Accompanied by a bout 200 community members, the victims demanded that the Government sets aside at least five acres for each family within Kericho County.
“We were forcefully scattered in many parts of this country with the majority being taken as far as Suba District and others in Meru. This time round we will not accept to be scattered, we want to be settled within our Kipsigis dominated areas of Kericho and Bomet,” said Sigilai. They spent the day at Kericho’s Moi Gardens grounds vowed to remain united.