Lamu squatters demand to be resettled on idle land

Lamu squatters demand to be resettled on idle land

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Squatters in Lamu PHOTO FILE

Lamu,KENYA:Squatters in Lamu county have called on the National Lands Commission-NLC and the county government to resettle them on the more than 350,000 acres of land revoked by the national government back in 2015 owing to irregularities in acquisition.

The over 1000 squatters from Bula Rahma,Tewe,Mokowe,Hindi,Swahili Scheme and Manda said the land is more than enough for them to be resettled and that there will still be much left for county projects.

Speaking shortly before they met Lamu governor Fahim Twaha at his office in Mokowe on Thursday,the squatters said it was unfair for them to suffer for lack of a place to live and call their own when there was so much idle land in the county.

They want governor Twaha and NLC chair Muhammad Swazuri to meet and chart a way forward on how they will be resettled.

The squatters said the request was a challenge for Twaha to prove if he really had the interests of the common mwananchi at heart as he promised during his campaigns.

“The governor said he would help us once he gets to office.We have been waiting for that but we have decided to come seek him out ourselves.We demand to know why we are squatters in a county that has over 350,000 acres of idle land.We want the county government to resettle us on part of that land so we can also live like normal people,”said Rahima Kijipu.

They said it was awkward that the county government had remained mum ever since the lands were revoked and ownership reverted tio the county government.

The squatters said they are worried that with the continued silence,the lands could easily land into the hands of grabbers,that’s is,if they haven’t already.

“In Lamu theres a tendency of tycoons just emerging from nowhere and before you know it,they have grabbed land.We cant be squatters in our own land when there’s something that can be done especially if the resources are available,”said Fakhurdin Musa.

In January 2015,president Uhuru Kenyatta revoked ownership of over 350,000 acres of land that have been irregularly acquired.

The lands were handed back to the county government.

However,the county government has yet to give a way forward on how the lands will be used since.

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