The Kenyan High Court was on Tuesday told that the Government has not done enough for the Internally Displaced Persons of the 2007/08 Post Election Violence.
Two victims of the violence who testified before the Constitutional Division High Court Judge Isaac Lenaola that the government has only dwelt on one out of the fourteen recommendations made by the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Kenya that was chaired by Hon Ekwe Ethuro, MP, Turkana Central (currently the Senate Speaker).
Keffa Magenyi, the Programs Coordinator IDPPAC based in Nakuru and also a victim of the 1993, 1998 tribal clashes, and 2007 PEV while as a resident at Njoro, Barut (Kalenjin Enterprise Farm) and Kaptebwa respectively, told the court that over 78,000 households in total 390,000 individuals still need assistance.
“The ongoing resettlement has not been a success,” he said.
“Some people who were killed never appeared and have never been accounted for, some of the Kiambaa church victims are unknown; those who live with wounds to date they have never been assisted, those who were maimed some have bills to be settled in the hospitals, sexual and gender based violence victims have never been given the attention they deserve. The government has focused on one aspect only, the other have been ignored,” he added.
Magenyi said seven operations undertaken by the government has not assisted all the IDPs in the country. He cited the question of habitual residents who were not land owners in Kisumu, Chwele of Bungoma County and Trans Nzoia County have not been assisted.
Further, he told the court that some parcels of land purchased by the government has not been settled on. For instance, in Nakuru, Rose farm the locals claim they had not been consulted, Ndonga farm had issues to do with forgery, Kamunu farm had issues to do with leasing and Kisima farm in Njoro the issue of settling the IDPs with the squatters had not been addressed.
Subsequently, Joseph Ohenga Otieno, a 61 year old man formerly a resident of Makongeni area of Nakuru narrated to the court how they had sought refuge at the Nakuru showground for 10 months from January 2008.
“During the government’s operation rudi nyumbani each one of us was given Ksh 10,000. It was impossible for us to go to our original homes. We united together under two groups (makongeni Self Help Group 371 members and Molo of 966 members) and bought land, 6 and 10 acreas respectively which we subdivided it into 21×24 square ft, but this was not enough,” he said
Further, he said the government purchased 750 acres of land at Donga Farm in Subukia area but five years now, they are yet to settle on it as it has never been demarcated.
“The District Commissioner then, came with a court order saying nothing was to be done on the land. We have been waiting. We have demonstrated, held protests. Currently the matter is still pending in court.”
“We are suffering. We do not know what to do. I have been transported, but denied to something on the farm. We cannot till the land. We are always frustrated. I am yet to be resettled,” he sadly said.
On cross examination by the Defense lawyer from the Attorney General’s Office on whether the government’s efforts have been adequate to resettle the IDPs, Magenyi said it was not enough.
“The 19.1 Billion that has been spent by the government, to me it is not enough in resettling IDPs,” he replied.
Judge Lenaola inquired on what he would like the court to do, Magenyi said, there was need for an authentication and audit of the people who were killed to be done, medical care offered to those who suffered injuries and prosecution of persons who perpetrated the violence.
When asked on the authentication of genuine IDPs and the fake ones, Magenyi in response said, “You cannot fake to be injured or killed.”
He also faulted the government for failing to address issues of displacement in a holistic manner leading to accumulation of displacement.
The two victims are among the individual petitioners (six women and nineteen men) IDPS from Eldoret, Kericho, Kisumu, Isiolo and Naivasha in the High Court Constitutional Petition 273 of 2011.
The Respondents in the case are: The Attorney General, The Director of Public Prosecutions, and The Minister for Finance, the Minister for Lands, and the Minister for State & Special Programmes.
The petitioners claim that the respondents were jointly and severally responsible through their acts or omissions, directly or indirectly, for the deaths, internal displacements and other harms that resulted from the 2007 PEV.
The petitioners pray for the following declarations and order the respondents jointly and or severally;
- A declaration from the court that this is a public interest case.
- A declaration that the petitioners and all internally displaced persons have all rights and guarantees as provided for under the constitution.
- A declaration that the IDPs are entitled to reparations and or just compensation.
- A declaration that the IDPs are entitled to participate in the decision making process and the implementation of all the policies thereof that the respondents make and implement in respect to the IDP Camps and the individuals who resided in IDP camps, in keeping with the spirit as envisaged under article 10 of the constitution.
- An order for reparation, compensation, or a combination of both, under Article 23 of the constitution.
The hearing will resume on 20th and 21st April 2016.