November 15, 2008.
FAILURE OF COALITION
GOVERNMENT TO RESETTLE IDPS IS A REFLECTION OF STRUCTURAL FAILURE OF
THE FRAGILE REGIME AND ITS LEADERS
During the post
election violence following the rigging of presidential election in
Kenya, over 300,000 IDPs were created. After the signing of the
“National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008, one key agreement was
the resettlement of IDPs by the new coalition government. The
understanding was that the plight of IDPs would be given priority by
the new government as the process of reconciliation also began.
We are now in the middle of November and IDPs have not yet been
resettled. The situation is so serious that IDPs themselves have
taken matters into their own hands by trying to organize protest
actions to get their plight on the national limelight.
When they camped at Parliament buildings last week to seek attention
from politicians, a group of IDPs including women, were tear gassed
by police sent by the Coalition government to disperse the IDPs.
According to a Report released by the Kenya Human Rights Commission,
“Operation Rudi Nyumbani” that was started by the government to
resettle the IDPs has officially flopped.
Kerusoi is one of the worst affected farms where a crisis of sorts
has been under development at Ndeffo, Mwahe and Chemanel regions.
Those who were displaced in Molo, Subukia, Burnt Forest and Marakwet
are yet to return to their homes more than eight months after the
post election violence came to an end. A key problem why the IDPs
are still unable to return to their homes is insecurity with many
IDPs saying that those who chased them away from their homes are
still armed and can still attack them.
Secondly, the government has failed to come up with a blue print on
how the long standing differences between the different ethnic
communities can be addressed. At the core of the problem is the
question of land which three regimes have failed to address since
the days of independence in 1963.
The View of Mapambano online is that the question of land
distribution, landlessness and land grabbing by the rich in Kenya
will have to be part of the solution to the IDP problem.
The government is in a fix because some politicians holding top
positions in government like President Mwai Kibaki and Deputy Prime
Minister Uhuru Kenyatta are themselves custodians of huge tracts of
land acquired through family and political connections.
Another issue is that the white settler community in Kenya also owns
vast pieces of land in Rift Valley and if the problem of land in
Kenya is to be tackled effectively, the big land grabbers will have
to be part of the solution.
That aside, the failure of the Coalition government to resettle the
IDPs is also a reflection of the general weakness of the Coalition
government whose top politicians appear to be more interested in
looting the economy and plundering the country’s wealth than
addressing the plight of the IDPs.
It is the view of Mapambano online that politicians in the Grand
coalition be made to account for the government’s failure to
resettle the IDPs. This failure is a warning that the government
which came to power after the post election violence is incapable of
leading and transforming the lives of Kenyans to the better.
Kenyans need to begin a process of re-organizing politically because
it is increasingly becoming evident that those in government are not
interested in transforming the lives of millions of poor Kenyans. If
the issue of IDPs cannot be addressed, how will the issue of
homelessness or degrading living conditions in slums across the
country be addressed? It is the view of Mapambano online that in
less than one year after it came to power, the Coalition government
might have outlived its usefulness.
Mapambano Editorial Board