Leaders from Embu County have censured Kirinyaga Governor Ann Waiguru over a remark that her county owned the 44,000-acre Mwea settlement scheme, saying the statement could incite residents to violence.
Led by Embu Senator Njeru Ndwiga, the leaders said Ms Waiguru’s opposition to demarcation and allocation of the land could aggravate an already fluid and emotive situation, which has left about five people injured.
Mr Ndwiga said Ms Waiguru does not know the history of the scheme and asked her to research before making public utterances.
He said Mwea had been allocated to Embu County, while Ngariama settlement scheme given to Kirinyaga when it was hived off Embu County.
“We have heard very unfortunate statements coming from the governor of Kirinyaga. Let her dig into history and she will understand which scheme between Mwea settlement scheme and Ngariama belongs to which county.
“Mwea scheme is rightfully within Embu, while Ngariama is theirs. When they sub-divided the Ngariama ranch we didn’t lay claim to it yet we had a right to it,” said Mr Ndwiga.
His remarks were supported by Embu minority leader Lenny Mwaniki and Ruguru Ngandori MCA Sammy Muturi who said Ms Waiguru’s comments could cause bad blood between Embu and Kirinyaga residents.
There have been tensions in the scheme after former District Commissioner Ireri Ndong'ong'i and three elders were seriously injured when squatters at the scheme resisted their attempts to secure their plots. Mr Ndon’gon’gi has since been evacuated from Embu Level Five Hospital to a Nairobi hospital for specialised treatment.
The leaders have called for sobriety in addressing emerging grievances.
“Let those who have been allocated hundreds of acres surrender part of them to squatters who have been left out,” said the minority leader.