By Peter Mutai
Roads Minister Franklin Bett has accused some senior government officials of frustrating the resettlement programme of families evicted by government from Mau Forest three years ago.
Bett said the officials whom he declined to name were taking the ad hoc committee formed to identify land to resettle the evictees in circles.
He said a month ago, the cabinet chaired by President Kibaki endorsed the purchase of 5,500 acres of land in Rongai in Nakuru and Kericho
Speaking at Kiplogoi AIC church in Kericho district during a funds drive, Bett said the process of acquiring land to resettle the evictees had been bogged down by the failure by the government and land owners to agree on the selling price per acre of land they were willing to sell for the exercise.
The minister who is the chairman of the ad hoc committee formed by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga to spear head the resettlement programme said the government had undervalued parcels of land much lower than the market price demanded by land owners.
He said when the committee identified the 5,000 acres of land in Banita, Rongai where the government has settled other post-election violence victims but they were told that the land will not be purchased as it ‘unsuitable’ for Mau evictees.
The evictees through their leaders on Sunday said they will hold a peaceful demonstration to protest the delay of their re-settlement.
“We will match to Kuresoi District Commissioner’s office on Tuesday to protest the slow pace of the resettlement programme. We are languishing in camps and yet the government is not taking by its pledge to resettle us,” said Samuel Sang, chairman Kipkongor camp.
Other members of the ad hoc committee include assistant ministers Beatrice Kones (Home Affairs) and Magerer Langat (Energy), Sotik MP Joyce Laboso and acting Kanu national chairman Gideon Moi.