Members of the “1992 squatters SACCO” who are victims of the 1992 tribal clashes from Lugari and Likuyani Sub Counties have criticized a move by the Mautuma central scheme squatters for opposing the Sacco’s efforts to have its members settled in the area.
Led by their chairman Jotham Wanjala they said like other squatters who were settled in the area, the 1992 clash victims also deserve the right to be settled after being ejected from their pieces of land and rendered homeless about three decades ago.
The clash victims played off allegations by their colleagues that the area was strictly allocated for squatters who used to work for the East African Tanning cooperation who were left landless after the company closed its activities in the region and whose majority have been settled in Mautuma central scheme with each receiving two acres of land.
They said when giving the order to hive a section of the Mautuma forest for their settlement, the late president Daniel Moi directed all squatters to be settled without specifying that only those who worked for EATEC be settled.
Wanjala regretted that none of the 1992 squatters SACCO members had settled in the area arguing they have continued to suffer for the last 30 years.
He said the Sacco has followed the right process in trying to petition the government to have its members settled.
“We have visited various offices that deal with land issues, including filing a case in court petitioning the government to settle the 1992 squatters,” said Wanjala.
He said the Mautuma central scheme squatters have no powers to stop the government from allocating more forest land to the 1992 squatters.
“We are all squatters and I wonder why our colleagues are opposing us being settled here, the forest land belongs to the government and they have no powers to stop the government from settling us as it did to them,” said Mr Wanjala.
He said it was regrettable that the majority of EATEC squatters who were settled in Mautuma central scheme have sold out their pieces of land before even being issued with title deeds and they are shamelessly asking for more land from the government.