, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 12 – The Government will resettle all the landless families that were moved from the Mau the Forest complex after all, Prime Minister Raila Odinga announced on Monday.
He said a consultative meeting had recommended that the Mau squatters be included into the resettlement programme for those displaced during the post election violence.
“We are going to resettle them together with the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) but the exercise will be in phases,” the Premier said.
He said the government was sensitive to the plight of the landless and was determined to amicably sort them out while observing conservation policies for posterity of future generations.
Mr Odinga made the assurance at his office when leaders from Kericho county paid him a visit barely a week after he launched the post referendum Civic Education programme in the area.
The PM also assured those who were ejected from the Mau Forest that the government was looking for land to resettle them.
He said the government has ascertained that some of those who left Mau forest have nowhere to go since the land they left behind had also been taken.
Speaking to more than 20 civic leaders and officers from the Kericho Urban council present, Mr Odinga discounted claims that he had turned his back on residents of the Mau. He said it took some time for the government to find land to resettle even those who left Mount Kenya forest.
“We have agreed that as we look for land to resettle other internally displaced persons, we also find land to settle those who left the Mau. So I want to assure those who left the Mau that the government has not forgotten them. We will resettle them in phases as we get pieces of land here and there,” the PM said.
The councillors and officers visited the PM on their way from Tanzania where they had been on a study tour.
They said they were visiting to express solidarity with the PM over his visit to the South Rift at the weekend and his efforts to conserve the Mau while resettling those leaving the forest.
They said they were unable to attend the weekend meeting in Kericho because they had travelled out of the country and assure the PM that they were working to strengthen the Orange Democratic Party at the grassroots. The civic leaders called for unity in the party.
The PM assured the civic leaders that he meant well for residents of the region and asked them to begin working on plans that would make their counties succeed.
He asked the leaders to embrace the new Constitution despite the region having opposed it saying the Rift Valley stood to benefit immensely from provisions on the chapter on land.
The PM said only investment in industrialisation and infrastructure would create employment for the youth and not government appointments.