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Community against push to settle IDPs

RIFT VALLEY
By - | May 6th 2013

By KIPCHUMBA KEMEI

The Maasai community has said there is renewed push by the Government to settle about 900 displaced families in the controversial 2,496-acre Rose Farm in Mau Narok.

It has consequently petitioned the National Land Commission to intervene and suspend the intended sub-division, accusing the Provincial Administration of pushing for settlement in the alleged community land.

“The community is opposed to the planned settlement, which was mooted three years ago. The ongoing talks between sections of our leaders led by an MP to have the community allocated 600 acres as a bait to abandon its claim on the whole land is selfish and doesn’t have the entire community’s blessing,” said Meitamei Dapash, a Maasai land rights activist.

Mr Dapash, who has been in the forefront in opposing the internally displaced persons’ settlement and the bid to have about 30,000 acres of land in Mau Narok area whose 99-year leases have since expired revert to the community, also appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene until an amicable solution is found.

Execute mandate

“The issue cannot be resolved in boardroom meetings. All interested groups should arrive at a decision before any sub-division is done,” he said and added that there were about 20,000 landless youths in the community who ought to be settled in the controversial land.

Dapash said there were suspicions that some people in Government want to be allocated land for commercial purposes at Rose Farm, arguing that the IDPs should return to their former lands because the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities, which clashed over land in Rift Valley after the 2007 botched presidential elections, have since reconciled.

He said Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and the Agricultural Development Corporation, which were last year mandated to manage the land should execute their mandate and wondered why the Government was concerned about the issue of landlessness at the Coast only yet there were many landless Kenyans who deserve attention.

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