, KERICHO, Apr 14 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said the resettlement programme for people evicted from the Mau forest is coming to a close noting the government has bought pieces of land for resettlement of the remaining families.
Saying it was only this week when 204 families from Mau were resettled at Kipkabus in Uasin Gishu County, the PM announced that the remaining Mau evictees will be resettled on pieces of land the government has bought at Ziwa and in Kuresoi, Nakuru County.
Odinga was speaking in Kericho town when he presented allotment letters to members of the Talai clan who have been squatting on council land in the town since the 1960s.
Emphasizing that the eviction exercise was not meant to punish anyone, the PM asserted that the Mau ecosystem has since been restored since the removal of people who had encroached on the forest.
On the clan, he said it was a historical injustice for the Talai to have continued being squatters since being scattered by the colonialists in 1934 to different regions of the country.
Said the PM, “It is unfortunate that successive independent governments have not corrected this injustice yet it is your right as any other Kenyan to own land in this country.”
He waived all fees that were to be paid by the Talai clan for the piece of land adding the government will foot all the bills.
Once again, Odinga called for unity of all Kenyans saying the country risks being fragmented into dangerous tribal groupings if some politicians continued to pursue an ethnic political agenda.
Noting that all the 42 Kenyan tribes were equal, the PM cautioned the public against supporting someone simply because they came from the same community.
“As politicians we should compete on policy and ideologies, tribal groupings like Gema and Kamatusa therefore have no place in the country,” he added.
Later Odinga who is the ODM party leader, opened an ODM office in the town where he said the popularity of the party was growing by the day as demonstrated by the recent opinion polls that put it at 54percent as opposed to its closest competitor at 22 percent.
In an analogy, the PM said “the tree that bears fruits attracts more climbers,” adding similarly the attention and the venom that is being directed at ODM is because of its growing popularity and the resultant envy from its competitors.
At another function, Odinga warned politicians against introducing politics in sports saying it will be detrimental to the development of sports in the country.
He spoke at an international marathon organised by the Tea Board of Kenya that was going on in Kericho town.
The PM who made at stopover at the event on his way to address ODM delegates from Kericho County chided those who called on Kenyan athletes to boycott the London Olympics, saying it was ill advised.
He said; “Kenya is well known for its sporting prowess especially in athletics, politicians should therefore not be seen to be working against something that is a source of national pride and which unites us as Kenyans.”