An aspirant seeking the Taita-Taveta governorship yesterday called on the government to make sure the land issue in the area is solved amicably. Richard Tairo, who is eyeing the governor's seat said land has remained a thorny issue since it is politicized by some leaders. He said such leaders have ensured that genuine squatters are always left out in resettlement programmes.
Tairo said the government should come out clearly on the issue of squatters in Taveta District. He said there increasing claims that people from elsewhere were being settled in the area illegally. “Before resettling the squatters, the government should come up with the genuine list of squatters since there are some people with land who are being resettled at the expense of the thousands of landless locals,” he said.
Tairo who said that he will vie for the seat on ODM ticket promised that he will make sure that the thorny issue of land in the region gets a lasting solution. He said he will call for an audit which will try to find real squatters from those who were pretenders before any resettlement takes place. Jasper Mrutu, a Taita Taveta Human rights network chair from Taveta district said that the process of resettling the squatters in Taveta had now turned to a business where some government leaders had benefited from the land set aside for the squatters. “Many plots in the Taveta town have been sold to local leaders and people from outside the region without the consent of the landless locals who were willing to buy the same plots,” he said. He alleged that some people had illegally acquired more than ten plots at the town using unlawful means by colliding with local lands officials.
Source: The Star