NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 1 – The Ministry of Special Programmes on Wednesday accused Naivasha MP John Mututho of interfering with the resettlement programme of Internally Displaced Persons to serve his own political interests.
Minister Esther Murugi made the allegations in Parliament arguing that the MP had relocated IDPs from Naivasha to Subukia to push his political ambitions.
Murugi said that the IDPs were not recognised by the government and would not be included in the government’s feeding programme.
“Because people want to be governors and senators they are misusing the IDPs; and that is what Mututho is doing by settling people from Naivasha to Subukia so that he can get the votes he needs to be a governor,” she charged.
She further claimed that Mututho had economic interests in the matter saying that he had been pushing for the purchase of a parcel of land in the area, by the government, on which to resettle the IDPs.
Murugi however noted that the efforts had been unsuccessful as the land in question was uninhabitable.
“He has an interest because he has officially written to me to buy the particular piece of land but it has issues which we cannot accept for resettlement of IDPs,” she said.
A visibly angry Mututho however denied the accusations saying he was concerned about the welfare of the people.
He has also accused the government of turning a blind eye to the fate of IDPs.
“It is a geographical fact that Subukia is in Nakuru County so people can still vote for me whether they are in Subukia or Gilgil. So I would like these aspersions investigated and I want to know whether or not these people will be fed,” he stressed.
Murugi however took Mututho to task saying that the government would not feed them and that he should instead provide them with meals.
“They will not be fed because their food is in Gilgil; if they can go back to Gilgil they will get their food there. You could also use the Sh1,600 that you used to transport them to Subukia to transport the food for them from Gilgil to Subukia,” she retorted.
Kuria MP Wilfred Machage had also accused the Naivasha MP of mischief saying he had personal interests in the resettlement of IDPs.
While referring to Machage as Father Christmas (due to his greying beard), Mututho stood his ground and demanded that he substantiates his claims.
Machage however interjected and demanded that Mututho uses his official names.
“My name is Honourable, Doctor Wilfred Machage, Member of Parliament for Kuria constituency and assistant minister for roads; nothing else,” he pointed out.
Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim however cooled the tempers and directed that the concerned parliamentary committee investigates the claims before reporting to the House in two weeks time.
Mututho also claimed that several IDPs had died due to the deplorable conditions in the camp. But Murugi denied the claims.
Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto accused the minister of adopting a don’t-care attitude on the fate of IDPs.
“Is it in order for Murugi to get worked up and take the matter personally? We expect a government that is concerned and impersonal,” he argued.
Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo also reiterated Ruto’s remarks saying the government had abdicated its duties.
“We shouldn’t be begging the minister to feed the people and she shouldn’t be so uncaring because she seems to be taking the matter lightly,” he said.