Drive to resettle IDPs faulted

Sunday January 1 2012

File | NATION Ms Joyce Muthoni goes about her chores at Yamumbi transit camp for internally displaced persons in Eldoret town. The National Cohesion and Integration Commission says the programme to resettle IDPs is riddled with discrimination.

File | NATION Ms Joyce Muthoni goes about her chores at Yamumbi transit camp for internally displaced persons in Eldoret town. The National Cohesion and Integration Commission says the programme to resettle IDPs is riddled with discrimination. 

By SIMON SIELE [email protected]

The cohesion commission has raised the red flag over the ongoing resettlement of internally displaced persons, saying it is riddled with discrimination.

It urged the government to ensure all genuine victims of the post-election violence were given equal treatment by the relevant ministries.

Rev Lawrence Bomett, a member of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, said they were grappling with complaints regarding the resettlement programme.

Some victims claim they were discriminated against in the compilation of lists for the programme, he added.

Rev Bomett said that unless such issues were addressed, the country’s future stability would be uncertain.

He said the commission, which is led by Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia, was concerned over conflicts that were likely to arise due to inequitable allocation of resources.

Another worrying issue is the emergence of leadership wrangles when county governments are constituted after the next General Election, he added.

He said some of the issues that they were handling were “very complex and should have been sorted out way back in 1963 when the country got independence”.

Rev Bomett said the cohesion commission was facing difficulties in addressing conflicts related to historical injustices. He appealed to the government to guard against discrimination in resource allocation.

“Let us not bury our heads in the sand because the country’s future stability relies on how resources are distributed. An example is the ongoing resettlement programme for internally displaced persons, which was conducted selectively in some areas,” said Rev Bomett.

He spoke during a function for about 200 youth that comprised boys who had been circumcised and 62 girls who had gone through an alternative rite of passage.

The programme — sponsored by the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), Gender Equity Network and Genesis Arts Creation — was held at Sirikwa in Kuresoi.

It sought to bring together the initiates from various communities after undergoing training on peace building because the group remained vulnerable to manipulation during conflicts.

Rev Bomett, who presided over the function, said his commission had succeeded in prosecuting cases related to hate speech despite the challenges it was facing.

“Since the commission was formed we have had minimal cases of hate speech,” he said

NCCK official Joseph Ng’etich said they had rolled out various programmes to promote cohesion, especially in Rift Valley, which was hardest hit by post-election violence.