News 2007


Trying to correct mistakes and incapability with another big mistake is not only ridiculous - it is the most disastrous way to solve the problems !


Forest to be hived off to settle landless families


By Joel Okwayo

Wednesday April 4, 2007

As the clashes in Mount Elgon intensify, the Government now says it will de-gazette part of Mount Elgon Forest to settle landless families.

Area Member of Parliament, Mr John Serut, maintained that he would not resign over the clashes as demanded by the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF).

Lands minister Prof Kivutha Kibwana on Tuesday chaired a six-hour closed-door meeting at the Western Provincial Commissionerís office in Kakamega attended by the provincial security team, Serut and religious leaders. 

It was agreed that landless and displaced families be resettled to quell the clashes. The Government also announced that a peace and reconciliation committee had been formed chaired by religious leaders. 

After the meeting, Kivutha announced that part of the forest in Mt Elgon District would be de-gazetted to settle more than 3,000 families.

"It is sad that only 1,723 families benefited from the land in the Chebyuk Settlement Scheme out of the more than 7,000 applicants," he said. 

Kibwana at the same time said the list of beneficiaries during the phase three would be scrutinised to ensure that only genuine families benefited. He said the Government would repossess land from individuals who benefited illegally.

Six people died on Sunday after their homes were attacked near Kapsokwony District headquarters. At least 140 people have been killed and another 40,000 displaced since the clashes started.

Area Provincial Commissioner, Mr Abdul Mwasserah, said the peace committees would champion reconciliation among the warring clans.