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Team picked to oversee resettlement of IDPs

BUSINESS
By | January 24th 2011

By Vitalis Kimutai

A committee to spearhead resettlement of internally displaced persons in Rift Valley has been formed.

The team comprises an assistant minister and eight MPs, who are expected to work with Government officials to ensure the IDPs in various camps across the region were resettled.

They include Assistant Minister Margaret Kamar and MPs Nderitu Mureithi, Fred Kapondi, Joseph Kiuna, Zakayo Cheruiyot, Peris Simam, Moses Lessonet, Boaz Kaino and John Mututho.

The team was picked before President Kibaki made a tour of the North Rift where he addressed a peace rally at Eldoret’s 64 Stadium. The President said the Government had set aside Sh1 billion for the exercise expected to be complete in six months.

Raise deficit

He said should the money not be enough, the Government would devise methods of raising the deficit.

Kalenjin Council of Elders chairman Major (rtd) John Seii and his Kikuyu counterpart Albert Githuku said members of various communities residing in the region were keen on reconciling following the 2007/2008 post-election violence.

"Any efforts aimed at reconciling communities in the region and finding home-grown solutions to violence is welcomed," Seii said.

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said the issues raised by the elders would be addressed, as the Government was keen on cementing relations between communities in the province.

A memorandum read and handed over to the President by Mosop MP David Koech, who is the secretary of the Rift Valley Parliamentary Group demanded resettlement of IDPs in various parts of the region.

Those to be resettled include families evicted by the Government from Mau, Embobut and Kipkurere forests to pave the way for rehabilitation of the forests and those displaced during post-election violence.

Eldoret North MP William Ruto said once the resettlement is concluded, there would be need for a major rally to bring together the Kikuyu, Kalenjin, Luhya and Kisii communities who were affected by the violence to cement relationships among them. He requested Kibaki to grace the event.

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said the peace initiatives were welcome and were crucial for the county’s economy.

Kibaki, who spoke for a record two minutes at the meeting, endorsed issues raised by the leaders. "I have heard your sentiments. It is good you have at long last decided to move forward together as a team. I am happy indeed," he said.

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