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IDPs in Nakuru vow not to take part in election

Tuesday February 14 2017
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People claiming to be internally displaced persons demonstrate in Nakuru on February 14, 2017. PHOTO | SULEIMAN MBATIAH | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MAGDALENE WANJA

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in Nakuru have vowed not to take part in this year’s General Election if the government fails to compensate them.

The more than 200 IDPs held a peaceful demonstration in Nakuru town on Tuesday, claiming that the government has been discriminating against them while compensating the rest of the victims of the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

Led by their chairman Rodgers Mwai, the demonstrators sought the audience of the county commissioner at his office.

According to Mr Mwai, the IDPs are a part of the group who sought refuge from their friends and relatives after they lost their homes but they were “profiled” for compensation.

“When we lost our property and our love ones we moved in to the various camps within Nakuru. The government then came up with a campaign dubbed “Operation Rudi Nyumbani” where some of those in camps were resettled,” he said.

Mr Mwai said those moved who in with friends and relatives had since been compensated while those who remained in the camps had been resettled.

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“Another group of IDPs who crossed over to Uganda during the clashes later came back and the government compensated them as refugees. All this time we haven’t received any feedback from the government,” Mr Mwai said.

'SIDELINED US'

He said: “The former government headed by President Mwai Kibaki sidelined us on the basis that we were not genuine”.

“We will not vote if we don’t get any response by the end of the wee. We don’t have any political interests, all we been is compensation so that we can move on with our lives,” Mr Mwai said.

The IDPs argued that in 2015, the government announced that it had allocated Sh 7.5 billion for compensation of IDPs.

Under the same budget, there was allocation of Sh 10 billion to benefit those affected by historical injustices.

“We suspect that the funds have been squandered by some individuals,” Mr Mwai said.

Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha, who addressed the IDPs at Nyayo Gardens, said the government had details about the IDPs and no money had been released for them.

“The government is still working on the verification of the profiled individuals which shall be used during the compensation,” Mr Nkanatha said.

He called on them to be patient, promising to forward their grievances to the relevant authorities.

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