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Squatters accuse govt of double standards

16 April 2013, 17:43 Mwangi Karanja

Leaders from Trans Nzoia County have opposed a move by the government to resettle Mau forest evictees in the County.

They alleged that the ministry of special programmes last year pledged that the evictees would be given land in the County.

However, while addressing journalists on Monday at her office in Kitale, Trans-Nzoia County Commissioner Charity Chepkong’a pointed out that she was not aware of the plan.

She said that con men are now using the opportunity to swindle money from Kenyans adding that members of the public should be alert of the scheme by con men.

“I have not been informed of any resettlement of Mau forest evictees and we have IDPs and squatters in the county who need to be relocated,” said the County commissioner.

More than 25 000 squatters are now accusing the government for double standards and discrimination in the ongoing resettlement programme.

However,Trans-Nzoia Squatters Alliance said they are strongly opposed to the intended resettlement of the forest evictees in Endebess constituency saying that they have suffered for many years and they should be given first priority in the program.

“We will not allow it to happen before we are given the said land and we promise to block roads until the government takes our plight seriously,” said Christopher Mutasia the alliance’s chairman.

They claimed the plan has favoured one community adding that the government should stop the bias.

"We don’t have a place to call home or even to bury our kin. We are being treated as second class citizens,” argued Mutasia.

Former Kitale deputy mayor Pius Mzee Arap Kauka supported the squatters arguing that internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and landless must be given first priority in the resettlement.

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