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Violence victims settle in Nakuru

Thursday September 25 2008

By GEORGE MUNENE and FRANCIS MUREITHI

More than 500 families kicked out of their farms in the North Rift have settled on the outskirts of Nakuru Town.

The refugees, who have been camping at the Nakuru showground, pooled resources and bought land at Eco Village in Pipeline estate.

Buy land

Nakuru district commissioner Njenga Miiri told UN resident presentative and humanitarian aid coordinator in Kenya Aeneas Chum, that each refugee will settle on a 25x25 foot plot.

He said another group of 270 refugees planned to buy land in the area and others in Nyandarua and Ngata areas of Nakuru.

The UN official, who visited the refugees,  called for proper planning to enable different agencies deliver aid. Mr Chuma is expected to tour Molo and other  camps in the North Rift on Thursday.

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Separately, scores of internal refugees yesterday marched to Kirinyaga district commissioner’s office demanding compensation.

Administration police officers cocked their guns as the refugees attempted to storm the hall that houses the DC’s office in Kerugoya Town.

Undeterred, they tried to gain entry but the law enforcers quickly locked the gate. The refugees screamed and shouted in protest, saying they were ready to die fighting for their rights.

They demanded Sh35,000 each as compensation for the loss they incurred during the violence that left about 1,200 people dead and more than 350,000 others displaced.

Earlier, the refugees obstructed vehicles in the town as they marched to the administrator’s office.

Dismiss claims

Saying that they had been denied justice, the demonstrators who are living in Murubara, Thiba and Kiarukungu villages claimed their money had been released but was being withheld by some government officials.

But the DC, Mr Ferdinand Otwani, dismissed claims that the cash had been misused.

“We submitted names of about 1000 refugees to the Ministry of Special Programmes for consideration but no cash has been released. I’m asking the victims to be patient as the Government has not forgotten them,” he said.