Uncertainty over Chepchoina scheme persists; Moroto calls for stern action to be taken

Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto decried the persisting problems facing residents at Chepchoina scheme
Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto decried the persisting problems facing residents at Chepchoina scheme

There is still uncertainty at the disputed Chepchoina settlement scheme along the West Pokot and Trans Nzoia Counties border as leaders and settlers have called on the government to transfer local administrators and security officers working in the are, who they’ve accused of causing unrest among the residents. They’ve also faulted them for handling land issues with bias and harassing settlers.

The scheme has experienced many problems with squatters being evicted every planting season. This comes after more than two hundred settlers in the scheme were unlawfully evicted them from their land which they’ve owned for over twenty years and their houses were torched and cattle shot dead by security officers.

Leaders led by Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto who toured Katikomor area to cool down embattled squatters and escalating tension challenged the government to address land disputes.

Moroto said that the residents in the area are peaceful and live together harmoniously, faulting some government officials who instead of protecting the citizens, take sides. “If they want they can take me to court. We want them to be transferred because they are the source of conflict in the area,” said Moroto.

He called on the government to investigate and take stern action, “We want stern action taken because they have become unruly. We want the CS for Interior Fred Matiang’i and IG Joseph Boinett to take action on the unruly officers,” said Moroto.

The legislator further said he will take the officers to Court to clear issues, “Issues involving land are immotive and a time bomb and area residents have been suffering from 1963. We want the government to come out clearly on the matter,” he said.

Nominated MCA Mulika Lotoch faulted security officers for using excessive to evict settlers. He asked the government to compensate affected families. The settlers faulted cartels for interfering with land matters in the area claiming they were allocated five acres of land each at the scheme under Agricultural Development Cooperation (ADC) in 1994 and 1997 by former President Daniel Arap Moi but they are being frustrated by the government, which turned against them and gave the land other people.

The squatters affected drawn from Pokot, Turkana and Luhya communities have warned that the process will turn ugly if the government doesn’t intervene the soon.

However, Endebess Deputy County commissioner Peter Maina said there are two court orders of status quo and the second order cautioned residents from meddling in the Chepchoina land issue, erecting structures or cultivating.