Internally displaced people sue for compensation

About 400 people claiming to be internally displaced have filed a petition at the Kiambu High court demanding recognition and compensation. Through an advocate of the high court Mr. Joseph Kungu Kinyua, the group said their names had been omitted in the compensation list hence they were not compensated when other internally displaced people (IDPs) were being compensated. The 404 people are seeking Sh 213 million from the government to cushion them from vagaries of poverty and homelessness. In the petition availed to KNA at Kiambu Law Courts Wednesday, the petitioners said they suffered during and after the post-election violence of 2007/ 2008 and 1992/1993 which left them homeless and destitute. In a supportive affidavit filed on behalf of the others, George Njuguna Ngugi, one of the petitioners, said he was displaced from his home in Maili Nne, Eldoret, with 2000 people. I was forced to stay at Kirathimo Camp in Limuru which was set up for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) with my entire family and other violence victims who were fleeing their homes during that time, the affidavit said. He says the government later closed all IDP camps and gave some of them Sh. 10,000 to facilitate their integration into the society. He noted that throughout this period, it has been impossible for them to return to their homes owing to great animosity that still exists between them and people they once knew as neighbours who have since occupied their land. He further stated that they were informed that the purpose of registering people who were internally displaced was to make it easy for the government and relief agencies to settle them. Ngugi further stated that they have learnt through the media and information in the public domain that during the 2016/ 2017 Financial year, the Government set aside Sh 6 million for resettling IDPs, including them. Last week, 1293 internally displaced persons were paid Sh.64, 650,000 by the government through Equity Bank. Kiambu County Commissioner Mr. Wilson Wanyanga said the list of those compensated was arrived at after a thorough documentation by government officials. Pastor Samuel Kariuki of Shammah Restoration Church in Ruiru told KNA on phone that he had assisted the group during the formation period as they endeavored to unite for a common cause and recognition. He said all the group members were genuine IDPs as they had documents which include settlements schedules which had been issued through area chiefs and assistant chiefs. The suit names the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Devolution and Planning, 1st respondent, Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government and the Attorney General as 2nd and 3rd respondents respectively. Wanyanga confirmed that he was aware that there were several other groups who were claiming to be IDPs. By Lydia Shiroya

Source: Kenya News Agency