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Kenya to meet IDPs relocation deadline

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 7- Lands Minister James Orengo assured on Wednesday that the government was on course to acquiring land for the resettlement of Internal Displaced Persons (IDP).

He said the land would be identified by Friday, only two days before the expiry of a presidential order to have all IDP camps closed.

Mr Orengo said Sh1.4 billion had been allocated for the relocation, which had been delayed due to logistical and verification processes aimed at ensuring transparency in the transactions.

“We had a deadline within which we were to buy the parcels of land. We also want to make sure that from logistical considerations the pieces of land that had been identified are accessible to the IDPs,” said Mr Orengo.

“I can assure you that something is in the works about the resettlement of the IDPs,” he said.

The Lands Minister said a further Sh500 million had been dispatched to the Ministry of Special Programmes to cater for the integrated IDPs. Negotiations were apparently at an advanced stage on the land acquisition, whose acreage could not be immediately established.

“We must justify to Kenyans why we bought this land and not the other one and for the maximum gain of the IDPs,” Mr Orengo said.

The government has appealed to private individuals and companies that own tracts of land to consider selling it for the settlement of squatters and IDPs. In this year’s Budget, Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta allocated Sh2.2 billion to resettle the IDPs.

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At the same time, the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution Abdikadir Mohammed said constitutional and electoral reforms would be complete within the next two years.

He said the committee was satisfied with the progress of the various institutions set up to spearhead the reforms.

“I think we have set the foundation for most of the key reforms.  We have no doubt that those institutions have to then achieve for the country what we have been waiting for quite a bit of time.  We have no doubt that these issues must be completed at the most within the next two years,” he said

The Interim Independent Electoral Commission, Independent Boundaries Review Commission and National Reconciliation and Cohesion Commission are mandated by Parliament to oversee various key reforms.


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