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Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu wants squatters vetted

COUNTIES
By - ALPHONCE SHIUNDU | October 2nd 2013

By ALPHONCE SHIUNDU

KENYA: Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu now wants over 21,000 squatters in Trans Nzoia County vetted, as a first step towards their resettlement.

Ngilu said she would engage the governor and the county commissioner to get a “proper inventory of the genuine squatters”.

The Cabinet Secretary spoke when she appeared before the House Committee on Implementation to address the issue of squatters – a matter that has been pending in the House for the last three years.

The committee’s job is to audit the implementation process of resolutions made in the House.

Ngilu lamented that while the government was keen to resettle the squatters, the Settlement Fund Trustees has been empty for the past five financial years, and, therefore, her docket was unable to buy land to resettle the squatters.

Urgent action

“The squatter problem in Trans Nzoia County is a sensitive issue that demands urgent government intervention as it has far-reaching socio-economic and even security implications,” said Ngilu.

Some of the people in the county became squatters after they were evicted from Sikhendu Forest.

Others were kicked off their ancestral land while others were kicked off the land belonging to the Agricultural Development Corporation.

Ngilu told the MPs that the evictions were not done properly, which was why there had been no proper profiling done.

She said there was “thorough vetting” going on in Chepchoina to identify “genuine beneficiaries”.

Ngilu’s remarks came a week after Saboti MP David Wafula sought to know why squatters who were displaced from their farms during the  2007/2008 post-election violence period had been left out of a Sh3.2 billion pay-out.

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