Lamu, KENYA: A section of Manda villagers have rejected a recent announcement by the National Lands Commission-NLC to gazette the Manda settlement scheme.
The villagers termed the gazettement as an illegality and exercise in futility.
The villagers said that the commission was jumping the gun by announcing the establishment of the scheme since it had not taken measures to authenticate the number of squatters in Manda Island .
Villagers said the proposed scheme only caters for 375 squatters while Manda Island is inhabited by more than 3000 people .
“We fully support governor Issa Timmamy for rejecting Swazuri’s proposal on grounds that local leaders were not involved in authenticating the number of squatters in that scheme,” said William Muiruri,a village elder.
The villagers said Manda squatters settlements stretch from the Manda Airport to areas bordering Siu and Pate asked NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri to go back to the drawing board and ensure all squatters in the area are resettled and not just a number.
“We can smell a rat from the NLC’s announcement since the names of the proposed beneficiaries have never been displayed anywhere by the commission and urge the governor to reject it in its entirety,” said the village elder.
“We also have hundreds of people living at the Yawi, Manda Maweni who have not been considered in the allocation. This announcement is informed by ignorance of the real situation on the ground and has been pushed by partisan interests,”he said.
They now want Lamu governor Issa Timamy to push for the annulment of the NLC’s proposal.