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Politicians warned against incitement

06 August 2013, 18:39 Mwangi Karanja

Trans Nzoia business community has cautioned local politicians against inciting communities living in the county against each other for their own selfish interests.

Addressing the press in Kitale, they said that business in the county might be crippled due to supremacy war between big tribes living in the County.

Led by James Maina, a Kitale based businessman, they claimed that recent demonstration by members of Bukusu community who were protesting against distribution of plots within Kitale township was politically castigated.

“Many business people got their land legally after hiring it from the Rift Valley Railways on a temporary basis but politicians have made people to believe that we grabbed the land, which is not the case,” he said.

They said that the plots were given to them after proving they were in position to build structures that would help in propelling business activities in the area as the town lacked space for conducting business.

“After realising that our town lacked space for business activities, we spoke to Kenya Railways who agreed to let us the plots until railway services resumed in the area. But surprisingly, people have started politicking on the matter saying that we have taken their land and yet it is not under jurisdiction of the County government,” said Maina.

Occupied railways to distribute land among themselves

Last week on Friday, hundreds of members from one community in the area held demonstrations in Kitale streets over what they termed as corruption in the distribution of plots in Kitale. Later, they tried occupying the railways land with indent to distribute it among themselves but were disbursed by police officers who urged them to use the right channels.

The demonstrators nearly brought activities in Kitale town to a stand still, a situation that forced the County governor Patrick Khaemba to intervene and invited them to his office for a meeting to discuss the matter saying it could create tension among communities living in the County.

During a press briefing shortly after the meeting, Khaemba pointed out that he had already written to the Rift Valley Railways and land commission to intercede and solve the matter before it gets out of hand.

He said that hiring of Railways plots and its development needs to be suspended saying that only a few individuals are benefiting.

“Development or hiring of the plots must be shelved until a solution is found because we don’t want a few people to benefit and yet we have others who are suffering,” he said.

Sikhendu County Representative Andrew Kutitila pointed out that all land deals in the county must be handled by the governor’s office and the county assembly.

He said railway services are being revamped calling for equal allocation of resources since 'Trans Nzoia County is a cosmopolitan'.

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