BBI committee urged to take seriously coastal land issues

Politicians during the BBI rally in Mombasa PHOTO COURTESY

Building bridges initiative (BBI) steering committee must take the coastal land issues seriously.

In an exclusive interview with Baraka FM in Nairobi, former Tana River speaker who is also a member of semi-arid professionals group Dr. Nuh Nassir Abdi said that there is a need for the committee to take land matters input seriously, especially in the coast region.

‘We have the issue of land, even though there is devolution, the coast must also be represented fully in the government, so as to avert any scenario where coast residents are rendered downtrodden, they feel that they don’t have land for residential purposes .”Abdi said

Early this year, during BBI consultative meeting coastal chapter, led by leaders among them Kilifi governor Amason Kingi, a resolution was proposed that land belonging to absentee landlords should be revoked through a parliamentary resolution in order for the land to be bought back and handed over to squatters.

They reaffirmed that there is a need to pass a national policy on historical land injustices through which a substantive stand-alone law on how to address them will be enacted.

Abdi urged Kenyans to make sure that their input is captured in the  BBI steering committee so as their issues can be addressed through the initiative.

“We as Kenyans and anyone who feels that he or she has any issue of concern that has not been addressed to forward their input to the BBI so that as Kenyans we are able to move together,” Abdi said

He also backed the push to maintain the number of constituencies saying that if there could have been any changes according to numbers as per census, it could have affected the coastal region.

“Some of us come from pastoral  communities, marginalized, others in the cities where the population is quite low, we had danger on the verge of  extinction majorly because of the census that has happened,” Abdi said

“Fortunately the BBI report has actually captured that no constituency or no unit of representation will lose courtesy of the populations of the census and that areas that were marginalized before should be considered and constituencies should be preserved. This is a positive issue for the people who come from the minority  .”He added

The BBI coastal delegates also had called on the ruling Jubilee Party to undertake the full implementation of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and Ndung’u Commission reports.