Victims of 1997 Kaya Bombo skirmishes now launch bid for compensation

Tuesday November 29 2016

Victims of the 1997 Kaya Bombo skirmishes in Kwale County are now demanding for compensation from the government. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Victims of the 1997 Kaya Bombo skirmishes which took place in Kwale County are now demanding for compensation from the government.

During the politically instigated clashes, more than 100 people were killed, women raped, houses torched and businesses looted.

Speaking in Ukunda Monday, Mr Peter Musyimi, the chairman of the victims’ group, said they started seeking compensation in 2003 through the Catholic Church, Anglican Church and the Kenya Human Rights Commission.

All the victims were asked to register and the list grew to 1,035, including those who were killed, said Mr Musyimi.

“We started the actual struggle in 2006 but all along we have been moving up and down and even presented a petition to the National Assembly but we have not been paid,” he said.

Mr Musyimi explained that although some of the victims have managed to recollect themselves and have started a new life, they are not able to cater for the needs of their families.


Solomon Syoki, a resident of Shimba Hills who is now paralysed, said he was beaten up by General Service Unit (GSU) officers while he was on his way home from work.


The severe beating left him crippled.

“For the last 19 years, I have just been lying on my bed.

“This is where I relieve myself as I am not able to walk,” he said.

He added that the severe beating left him at the mercy of his wife, who is now the bread winner, as he cannot walk.

He added that the victims expected the government would listen to their cries and pay all the victims but, unfortunately, nobody has bothered to listen to them.

“Every year we are normally promised that we are going to be compensated before the month of May, August or December but all that has been in vain,” he said.

His wife, Priscilla Syoki, said immediately after the incident, he was taken to hospital where he was asked to buy a walking stick which he was not able to use because of his condition.

“I am really suffering and life never used to be like this when my husband was okay but now everyone in the family is depending on me,” she said.