Integrated IDPs threaten to skip elections, cite neglect by state
Why should we vote? We voted in 2013 so that our problems would be solved. But the state does not recognise us, despite many visits to government offices, they say
Integrated Internally Displaced Persons have threatened to boycott the 2017 general election, alleging the government has neglected them.
They said it would be immaterial for them to vote, yet the same vote exposed them to suffering and abject poverty.
The IDPs yesterday urged the government to help them return to their former homes in the Rift Valley and give them funds to begin a new life.
They spoke at Kirathimo social hall, Limuru constituency.
Chairman David Kariuki said the state has failed to recognise them, despite their persistent visits to various government offices.
“Why should we vote and yet when we voted in 2013, we had been promised that our plight will be resolved. We were displaced from our homes in early 2008 after the 2007 disputed presidential election results,” he said.
“Many people lost their lives, our property was destroyed and livestock stolen by our aggressors. We were left destitute to this day.”
The IDPs urged the Kiambu government and well-wishers to give them financial support to help them start income-generating activities to uplift their lives.
“Some of us can start car washes, sell farm produce at the market and carry out other activities to earn a living,” Kariuki said.
Former Limuru MP Peter Mwathi urged the national and county governments not to take the issue for granted but resolve it.
“The government has settled many IDPs. There are only a few remaining. I feel that both levels of government have a role to play to improve the IDPs’ lives. The issue should be handled with a lot of care because it deals with people who have suffered,” he said.
Mwathi asked elected leaders, in whose areas integrated IDPs are still accommodated in cheap rental houses and people’s home, to take the issue to Parliament.
“They have continued to keep quiet about the issue. They should table the issue for discussion until something is done,” he said.
Kenyan refugee returnees from Kiriandingo settlement in Uganda shield themselves from the scorching sun as they stage a sit-in at Parliament Buildings on October 24. The 534 families, who were forced out of their homes during the 2007-08 postelection violence, camped outside Parliament for more than three weeks, demanding compensation