The Star (Kenya)

Shifta war vic­tims in Lamu de­mand ti­tle deeds and dig­nity

- CHETI PRAXIDES

/ Shifta war squat­ters in Lamu are de­mand­ing ti­tle deeds for the land they cur­rently oc­cupy, say­ing they have nowhere else to go.

De­spite be­ing the first ever group of in­ter­nally dis­placed per­sons in the coun­try, the war vic­tims say the gov­ern­ment has cho­sen to treat them with less dig­nity than other squat­ters.

Fol­low­ing fre­quent in­va­sion by dur­ing the war in the 1960s, the gov­ern­ment in 1964 di­rected the dis­so­lu­tion of all af­fected vil­lages which in­cluded Ishakani, Ki­unga, Mwam­bore, Rubu, Si­mam­baye, Mvun­deni, Ashuwei, Matironi, Mkokoni,vumbe, Saadani, Kiangwe, Nd­hu­nuni and Bod­hei.

They say their pur­suit for com­pen­sa­tion and re­set­tle­ment over the years hasn’t borne fruit while other IDPS like those of the 2007 post-elec­tion vi­o­lence have re­ceived com­pen­sa­tion.

Speak­ing in Lamu town on Wed­nes­day, their spokesper­son Mo­hamed Mb­wana said all they want is for the gov­ern­ment to en­sure the land they oc­cupy is de­mar­cated and ti­tles is­sued.

He said its painful that the gov­ern­ment has de­nied them any form of com­pen­sa­tion while IDPS in other parts of the coun­try have been treated with con­cern.

“There have been nu­mer­ous sur­veys here but the Shifta squat­ters still get ne­glected since our lands haven’t been touched and we won­der why. Our last plight is that we get ti­tle deeds. Let them please us when we are alive. Many of us have since died with­out see­ing jus­tice and it’s just un­fair,” he said.

 ?? /PRAXIDES CHETI ?? Lamu Shifta war vic­tims dur­ing a past meet­ing
/PRAXIDES CHETI Lamu Shifta war vic­tims dur­ing a past meet­ing

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