Pain of the displaced, 10 years on


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It is 10 years since they were displaced from their homes. They are still clinging to hope that the government will compensate them as promised.

The memories of 2007-2008 post-election violence brings them to tears.

Theirs is a long wait for the Sh200,000 compensation promised by the government that they hoped would wipe away their tears and give them consolation that someone cared after all.

This is the fate of over 14,000 displaced people in Kisii who used to live in different parts of Rift Valley when the violence broke out.

At least 9,000 people live in Kisii County and the rest in the neighbouring Nyamira.

Speaking on Wednesday as President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto toured Gusii region, the President said the displaced will be compensated next month.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga asked him to ensure the post-poll victims were compensated.

Their chairman, Alfred Akama, said they had tried to follow up on their compensation to no avail.

“We have been patient enough. We are now in another electioneering period and the song remains the same,” he told the Nation on Friday.

Mr Akama said they were registered by the National Consultative Coordination Committee under the Devolution ministry.

On September 24 to 26 last year, they attended a meeting in a Nakuru hotel with the committee to talk about compensation.

The committee said those still living in camps will be resettled and those who were integrated will receive Sh200,000.

“To date, we have not received anything and we fear this could be an empty promise. We want to be assisted to boost our livelihoods,” he said.

Ms Martha Nyanchama, now aged 34 and a mother of four, said she was yet to come to terms with the death of her husband Christopher Orori in Sotik.

“My husband had gone to buy some items at Chebilat and wanted to stock our shop in Sotik. He met a group of youths armed with bows, arrows and machetes. That was his end,” she recalled amid sobs.

Ms Nyanchama now lives in Marani in Kisii County with her in-laws.

Mr Joel Ondieki recalled how he boarded a matatu from Kericho to Kaplong so that he could board another matatu to Kisii.

“At Litein, we were told the vehicle could not continue and we were asked to alight. Two people who asked for their fare back were hacked to death on the spot. I fled into a thicket,” he said.

He came out of the thicket without clothes and pretended to have gone mad. He walked from Litein to Chebilat where he joined others who had run away.

The 62-year-old now lives in Marani with his five children.

Hellen Okindo, aged 67, lived in Sitoito in Molo and lost her husband Steven Okindo when he fell into an abandoned pit latrine as he was running away from the hostile group.

They burned their house and took away their cows and sheep. She now lives at Ibacho in Nyaribari Central with her brother.

More than 1,000 other evictees said they saw massive bloodshed and had never gathered the courage to go back to their farms.

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