From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
MONDAY, JUNE 23, 2040

Amos from Westlands, Nairobi writes: “Dear Fr. Joachim, tension is building around the country. Our leaders are not doing us justice. I would urge the President to take leadership to a new level and avoid statements like the ones he gave after the attack in Mpeketoni. In some parts of Kiambu, Naivasha, Molo, Nakuru a certain community was being told to vacate.

Now that Alshabab has continued to claim responsibility in the attack and have said they are posting a video of the attack, will our leaders rescind their negative ethnic statements and unite the country? This country will burn if we are not careful and badly. Let us spread message of unity and peace. Our Media is also very reckless showing raw materials and ethnic incitements. Poor Us!!!!!!!

Standard- has reported that the US and the UK insist the recent killings in Mpeketoni were a terror attack and not politically instigated, contradicting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s earlier statement. At the same time, the US announced it is relocating some of its staff in Nairobi to other countries following perpetual security threats. What is your take?’

Thank you Amos. I think the report by the US and UK is the correct one because even Al-Shabab has said it carried out the attack in order to take revenge on Kenya for the presence of its troops in Somalia, where they are battling the militants, as well as for the killing of radical clerics linked to al-Shabab in the port city of Mombasa.

It could also be that local Somalis and Oromos who claim the area as their ancestral home are trying to drive out Kikuyus, who they see as interlopers in Mpketoni. Reacting to the president Uhuru’s father for having illegally giving the area to his ethnic Kikuyus in the 1960s.

It is not only US and UK, even the opposition politicians have dismissed the president’s statement as a “joke”. President Kenyatta up to now has not named the local political group he was accusing.

This brings us to speculations that President Kenyatta would want to downplay the al-Shabab angle in order to try and protect Kenya’s embattled tourist industry and also to enable him to send security services of his choice in Lamu County.

Robert writes via iPad: “Fr Beste I read your article why President Uhuru will not implement Truth Justice and Reconciliation recommendations. Is it one of the reasons why he is not willing to have national dialogue?”

Robert, yes you are also right. Truth Justice and Reconciliation and National Dialogue demanded by CORD are similar. In 2008 I managed to capture what IDPs themselves demanded from President Mwai Kibaki concerning the need for dialogue, reconciliation and healing in Kenya-click here to read the article- Government undersiege as they forcefully resettle IDPs.

When the Government of Kenya began resettling more than 10,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in 2008, thousands of them who had been camping at the Nakuru Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) show ground, pleaded with Kibaki that his Government should have reconciled them with the neighbouring communities first instead of rushing to resettle them.

They said it was necessary for dialogue, reconciliation which would open the way for healing. Mzee Ibrahim Githatwa, 76, was among the IDPs who vowed never to go back to Keringet in Kuresoi where he had lived since the 1942 but was forcefully told to leave the premises.

Mzee Githatwa and a father of 13 children had also suffered a great deal under President Moi’s regime. During Moi he lost seven houses in the 1992 ethnic violence. Even after he could manage, together with some of his children to build five houses, they again got burnt down his house during the post-election violence.

The 13 farms where some IDPs were told to reallocate, including Sirikwa, Kiambogo, Githirika, Muthenji, Nyota, Kangawa and Lagwenda, Sasumua, Willa, Muchorwe, Karirikania, Kadonye and Nyaruai have history of violence every five years when they have general elections.

These are some of the areas that have been the scene of periodic violence since 1992. The land dispute around these areas, especially in Molo and Kuresoi is between the Kalenjin, Kikuyu and Kisii.

According to the annexes to the Ndung’u land dispute report released in 2004 the families of former presidents Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi feature prominently in the list of prominent high ranking politicians and people who matter in Kenya government as those who have grabbed public land that was recommended for repossession.

If the government were to take action it would mean that names of all those who have been irregularly allocated public land in urban areas, settlement schemes, forests and reserves, with Moi alone owning 937 hectare farm in Narok hived off Trans Mara Forest be repossessed, then this would at least solve some of the land problems in the country.

The problem would even be more resolved if the government were to go by the Ndungu recommendation that allocation of various parcels to Mama Ngina Kenyatta be revoked. It includes 38 hectares hived off the Kikuyu Escarpment Forest in Kiambu District in 1965, including another 36 hectares in Thika District from the same Kikuyu Escarpment forest allocated to her in 1980 for farming, which Ndungu also recommended to be reclaimed, as well as another 24 hectare parcel allocated in 1993.

Among the cabinet ministers, judges and top soldiers listed to be among beneficiaries of settlement schemes carved out of Agricultural Development Corporation farms include then minister of State William ole Ntimama, assistant minister Kipkalya Kones, Court of Appeal Judge Emmanuel O’Kubasu and deputy chief of general staff, Lt Gen Nick Leshan.

Mr Ntimama was allocated 34 acres of Moi Ndabi Farm where Mr Leshan got 233 acres. Mr Kones got 145 acres in the Agricultural Development Corporation Sirikwa scheme where the average allocations were five acres, according to the report. Mr Justice O’Kubasu got 40 acres. Other according to the report include retired Judge Mbito who was allocated 50 acres.

The report recommended that former Lands and Settlement minister Jackson Angaine’s 900 hectares of land hived off from Mount Kenya forest in 1975 and 1977. If taken seriously, Ndung’u report would mean that many individual Kenyans who illegally acquired land would lose them.

Against background that constitutional review to address fundamental issues of land tenure and land use. The development and implementation of land policies, national land use policy and enactment of attendant legislations.

Land laws was to be harmonised into one statute to reduce multiple allocations of title deeds. Land ownership document replacement for owners affected by post-election violence, development of a national land use master plan, taking into account environmental considerations.

Land reform transformation unit in the ministry of lands to facilitate the implementation of the land reform programme as outlined in the national land use policy. Strengthen local-level mechanisms for sustainable land rights administration and management.

Finalise the land dispute tribunal act. Land reform process was to be factored in the constitutional review process within 12 months.

On Truth Justice and Reconciliation, the Commission recommended that between 1963 and 1978 when President Jomo Kenyatta presided over a government that was responsible for numerous gross violations of human rights, justice and reconciliation would focus on Shifta War, killings, torture, collective punishment and denial of basic needs (food, water and health care).

Political assassinations of Pio Gama Pinto, Tom Mboya and J.M. Kariuki; arbitrary detention of political opponents and activists; and illegal and irregular acquisition of land by the highest government officials and their political allies.

Under Moi it would involve massacres; unlawful detentions, and systematic and widespread torture and ill-treatment of political and human rights activists. Assassinations, including of Dr. Robert Ouko; Illegal and irregular allocations of land; and economic crimes and grand corruption.

Under Kibaki the report recommended that it would focus on unlawful detentions, torture and ill-treatment; assassinations and extra judicial killings; and economic crimes and grand corruption, including Anglo Leasing scandals.

The Commission found that historical grievances over land constitute the single most important driver of conflicts and ethnic tension in Kenya. Close to 50 percent of statements and memorandum received by the Commission related to or touched on claims over land.

The Commission also found that minority groups and indigenous people suffered state sanctioned systematic discrimination during the mandate period (1963- 2008). In particular, minority groups have suffered discrimination in relation to political participation and access to national identity cards. Other violations that minority groups and indigenous people have suffered include: collective punishment; and violation of land rights and the right to development.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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