Victims of Kenya’s 2007 post-election violence threaten to boycott 2017 polls

Naivasha was among the worst hit by the 2007-08 post-election violence. The victims have on several occasions complained of being neglected by the government. PHOTO: FILE
NAIVASHA: Nine years after the deadly post-election violence that hit the country leaving a trail of death and destruction, victims of the Naivasha violence say they are yet to get any assistance from the State.

And months to the general elections, the victims have threatened to boycott the exercise until the government compensates them just like other communities.

This emerged when the representatives of the over 4,500 Naivasha integrated IDPs addressed the press in Naivasha and narrated their harrowing stories.

According to the group chairman Samuel Odour, the government had released Sh6B towards resettling and compensating IDPs across the country but they had never benefitted.

He said that Naivasha was one of the hardest hit towns by the post-election violence but the victims were forgotten.

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"We lived in Kedong which was one of the largest IDPs camp but unlike other victims we were totally forgotten," he said.

Odour called on the head of state to come to their aid adding that they had visited tens of government offices but their grievances had never been resolved.

The sentiments were echoed by another victim Bernard Oloo who said that majority of the victims were yet to fully recover physically and psychologically from the violence.

He said that they were ready to return to the Kedong camp and camp there for months until their pleas were heard and addressed.

"The education of our children and even our business was affected and all we are asking from the government is compensation so that our lives can continue," he said.

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On her part, Joan Kipyegon noted that the IDPs were not willing to participate in the coming elections due to the suffering that they were undergoing.

She said that tens of women who were raped or lost their husbands and offspring's were praying daily that the government would come to their rescue.

"The deputy president William Ruto then in the opposition even visited our camp and we are reminding him to intervene so that we can get justice," she said.

Another victim Julius Njuguna who fled to Naivasha at the height of the violence called on politicians to be keen with their words during the campaign period.

"Some utterances during the 2007 elections led to the post elections violence and we are calling on our leaders to be very keen and careful with their statements at this time," he said.

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