Joho criticises government for charging Waitiki land squatters

Governor wants to know why IDPs in other areas received land and Sh400,000.

Tuesday January 26 2016

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho addresses Mwijabu Primary School pupils in Changamwe on January, 6 2016.  He has criticised the government’s plan to make squatters at Waitiki Farm pay for plots received.  PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho addresses Mwijabu Primary School pupils in Changamwe on January, 6 2016. He has criticised the government’s plan to make squatters at Waitiki Farm pay for plots received. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By DANIEL TSUMA NYASSY
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Governor Ali Hassan Joho has faulted the government’s plan to make squatters at Waitiki Farm pay for plots received.

Mr Joho insisted that it was wrong for squatters to be charged for the land “whereas internally displaced people elsewhere were given land and money”.

During a campaign rally for Malindi Orange Democratic Movement candidate Willy Mutengo on Monday, Mr Joho said it was the right of squatters to get land from the government for free.

“Someone comes here and tells squatters to pay Sh182,000 for the land before they can own it. Getting land is our right”, the governor said.

He added that in other parts of the country, land had been dished to squatters who also received between Sh200,000 and Sh400,000.

Mr Joho said making squatters pay would set a bad precedent and defeat the purpose of settling the landless.

President Uhuru Kenyatta while giving out 5,000 title deeds to Waitiki Farm squatters at Shika Adabu Grounds on January 9 said money borrowed from the Settlement Fund Trustee to buy the land from Mr Evanson Kamau Waitiki and must be repaid.

AGAINST PAYMENT PLAN

The President’s announcement was opposed by local leaders.

MPs Masoud Mwahima (Likoni), Mr Abdulswamab Nassir (Mvita), Mr Khatib Mwashetani (Lunga Lunga), Mr Rashid Bedzimba (Kisauni), Ms Zainab Chidzuga (Woman Rep, Kwale) and her Mombasa counterpart Mishi Juma Mboko were among leaders against the payment plan.

During the Shika Adabu meeting, Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko clashed with Governor Joho who had complained that the President snubbed him.

Speaking at Majengo ya Barani in Mtwapa, Kilifi last week where he ordered 300 squatters out of a 21-acre piece, National Land Commission Chairman Muhammad Swazuri warned against invasion of private land.

This was after some squatters said they took the decision because the government would pay the owner “like it did with Waitiki Farm”.