By The Weekly Vision
Pressure is mounting on President William Ruto to move with speed and investigate the circumstances under which a parcel of land bought by the government to settle the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) ten years ago is yet to be allocated to the intended beneficiaries.
Section of intended beneficiaries is now pointing accusing fingers at the officers at the Land Settlement Fund whom they accuse of plotting to grab the land at their expense. The Settlement Fund Trustees is a body of Trustees mandated to settle “settlers” on either un-alienated Government land or on land purchased from individuals by the Trustees. The Fund is overseen by a Board of Trustees comprising Cabinet Secretaries for Lands as the chairperson, National Treasury, Agriculture, Environment, Internal Security and a representative from the National Land Commission (NLC).
Investigations reveal that the government had identified a piece of land in Kisima Njoro for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nakuru County. The land was purchased at a cost of Ksh .396, 984,000 as per the agreement for sale dated 3rd October 2012 for the resettlement of IDPs. However, audit verification of the land carried out in October 2022, revealed that the land had not been surveyed or subdivided and, therefore, the beneficiaries had not been settled, 10 years after the purchase of the land was finalized.
It is against such delays that there is fear among the IDPs that some land cartels are burning the midnight oil, plotting how to grab the land. In Kilifi, the Fund purchased Mikanjuni Farm at a cost of Ksh.377, 000,000 as per the agreement for sale dated 22 April 2020 for the resettlement of informal settlers. Although a list of beneficiaries was provided for audit by the Land Adjudication and Settlement Officer of Kilifi County, the farm was still listed as undistributed by the Fund as of October 2022.
However, there is no justification for not distributing and settling the informal settlers. In Mombasa County, the Fund purchased 3 parcels of land at Kadza Ndani at a cost of Ksh.378, 000,000 as per the sale agreement dated 11 September 2020. Although a list of beneficiaries was provided by the Land Adjudication and Settlement Officer of Mombasa County, the land was still listed as undistributed as of October 2022. No justification exists today as to why the distributing and settling of the informal settlers have not taken place.