Document 196802

Page 27
Leaders want
education sector devolved
Leaders have called forthefull
devolvement ofbasic education
to thecounty governments. This.
they said. would enhance the
quality ofeducation. Governor
Cyprian Awiti and Karachuonyo MP
James Rege said secondary and
primary school education should
bedevolved to make management
ofthesector easier. Mr Awiti said it
was appropriate for every county
government to manage itsown
education. The governor said county
governments have theability to
assess thesituation ofeducation in
their counties.
Sh150m needed
for vocational college
Residents ofRongo. Migori
County. need Sht50 million to
construct a vocational training
institute. The institute. which
has seenresidents raise Sh40
million sofar. will replace theone
thatwas upgraded to become
Rongo University three years
ago. Nominated County Assembly
Representative Josephine
Ojwang. who isamong the leaders
steering the plan. said the project
would benefit thecounty andits
neighbours. "This isa steptowards
empowering thecommunity through
skilled youth: shesaid.
AI OBI' Suspected thug
arrested inhospital
Aman suspected to bea gunman
was arrested moments afterhe
checked into hospital toseek
medical attention at the Mater
Hospital inNairobi following a shoot
out. The man had been shotand
wounded by police ina botched
robbery inMukuru slums before
heand otheraccomplices escaped,
police said. He later turned upin
hospital seeking medical attention.
According to Nairobi police boss
Benson Kibue. the man was shot
on Sunday night during a botched
robbery intheslum. But thefamily
said thevictim was a l2-year-old boy
shotby mistake ina police shooting
KlAN U: Recruitment of
ECD teachers starts
The Kiambu county government
has started the recruilment of
Early Childhood Development (ECD)
teachers. County Education Cabinet
Secretary Esther Ndirangu said the
recruitment would bedone inphases
to make theexercise effective. Ms
Ndirangu said they would start by
posting new teachers to theareas
with teacher shortages. Interviews
for the first group are under way and
scheduled to becomplete by theend
ofFebruary. The county also plans
to refurbish allclassrooms used
byECD children to ensure they are
Slogs, archives, reader
forums and more:
Tension mounts in
troubled Kuresoi scheme
The two dominant
communities have
openly disagreed on
how to handle the
land problem
The lush scenic hills of the Chepakundi settlement scheme in Kuresoi,
Nakuru County.disprove the land row
that is simmering.
A22-year conflict. which traces its
origin to the 1992land clashes, has returned to haunt the residents, who
until the recent past have been quiet1y living and going about their daily
Issues to do with land have proved
emotive in the region that has experienced ethnic conflicts since the advent of multi-party politics in 1992.
An attempt by more than 800 families evicted from Chepakundi during
the clashes to reclaim their land has
opened a can of worms.
Panic has gripped the area following reports that the scheme may revert back to forest land. which may
lead to the displacement of hundreds
of families.
Some of the families. mostly from
the Kikuyu community who were
evicted from the scheme but were later allocated land in Kapsita, Elburgon,
are seeking to return to their land.
which they bought legally.
However. the move has generated
controversy as members of the resident Kalenjin community occupied
most of the land after the clashes.
Followingutterances bylocal leaders, which have stoked fresh controversy.the National Land Commission
(NLC) visited Chepakundi last week to
ensure the row does not degenerate
into violence.
At a meeting with residents in
Chepakundi, local leaders differed
sharply over how to resolve the issue.
"There is a suggestion that the area should revert to forest land but as
you have seen, there are many people
who have settled here. If you declare
it forest land where willyou take these
people?" posed Nakuru County Deputy Speaker Samuel Tonui.
Mr Tonui said many people had
made the area their home and declaring the area forest land would come at
a great 'cost.
Joseph Maina, one ofthose flushed
out of the area during the 1992ethnic
• Some of the families, mostly
from the Kikuyu community,
who were evicted from the
scheme but were later allocated
lahd in Kapsita, Elburgon, are
seeking to return to their land,
which they bought legally
• The move has, however, generated controversy as members
of the resident Kalenjin community occupied most of the land
after the clashes
• Panic has gripped the area following reports that the scheme
may revert back to forest land,
which may lead to the displacement of hundreds of families
clashes, supported plans for the disputed land to he declared forest land;
he however asked for compensation
for those with title deeds.
"Chepakundi should be made forest land but all those with title deeds
should be allocated land elsewhere,"
Mr Maina said.
Maina, a church leader, says as
part of the efforts to address past injustices, the Government should compensate families that lost property
during the 1990sethnic clashes.
Matters at the scheme were complicated by a Government directive,
which declared the area forest land
around 1994. NLC has promised to
come up with recommendations on
how to resolve the issue on February
"On February 4, we will call your
leaders for a meeting in Nairobi to inform them of our decision following
our visit here," NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri said.
Dr Swazuri said the communities
should be ready to accept the commission's verdict, including having
those occupying the land moved.
National Land Commission Chairman Dr Mohammed Swazuri addresses residentsof Chepakundi, Kuresoi. [PHOTO: BONFACE THUKU/STANDARD]
Among the options the commission is considering is declaring the
scheme forest land as it was before it
was expunged in the late 1970s.
But over 2,000 families occupying
the land are opposed to plans to relocate them.
Confusion has clouded moves to
find a solution to the row, with the Nakuru county assembly also launching
investigations into the allocations.
The assembly, through its Legal
and Justice Departmental Committee,
is probing the controversial allocation
of the 31,000 hectares to politicians
and provincial administration.
Apetition signed by more than 400
evicted families before the county assembly prompted the probe. Following the petition, the Legaland Justice
Departmental Committee took a fourday fact-finding trip to the area in November 2013. The committee is expected to submit its findings when it
resumes sessions next month.
The petition was presented to the
assembly by the occupants and evictees through the Nyota Ward Member
of the County Assembly Njuguna Gichamu in September.
The evictees claimed that former
powerful provincial administration
personnel forcibly took their land after they were evicted from their farms
at the height of the 1992 tribal clashes.
"In exercise of the law,which guarantees that people may exercise their
sovereign powers, either directly or
through their democratically elected
representatives, the petitioners want
title deeds issued for their former
lands cancelled and compensation
paid to them," the MCA said.
According to Mr Gicharnu, out or
980 families ejected from the area 22
years ago, 400 have sold their land.
"But for the 500, mostly Kikuyuswho
refused to sell their farms, their parcels have since been occupied by individuals who have managed to acquire title deeds," Gichamu stated.
The families were settled in the agriculturally rich area during the regime of President Iorno Kenyatta.
But the dispute took a new twist
after more than 400 farmers went to
court last month seeking orders to
suspend Nakuru County Deputy Governor Joseph Ruto from discharging
his duties over incitement to violence
The farmers in the petition, which
is pending before the Nakuru High
Court, claim Mr Ruto incited residents following a dispute over the
ownership of the settlement scheme.
They want the High Court to order
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)
KeriakoTobikoto investigate the deputy governor and three other public
officials over inflammatory statements against the Kikuyu community
made in relation to the land.
They said Ruto allegedlyissued the
statements in a meeting on August 10
last year.