Land matters top Mombasa Building Bridges Initiative demands

Monday, January 27th, 2020 00:00 |
Raila Odinga makes entry in Mombasa for BBI rally.

 Reuben Mwambingu @reubenmwambingu

The stinging land question was at the heart of the third Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) meeting at Mama Ngina Water Front in Mombasa on Saturday.

In a 16-point resolution read at the meeting by Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi on behalf of Coast leaders, the region’s citizens demanded that the national government should comprehensively address matters of land ownership, titling transfer and management, acquisition and productivity.

They proposed that for the historical land injustices to be addressed effectively, the government should “buy land from absentee land lords and resettle affected squatters.”

Residents also want the Constitution amended to introduce a clause that all grants held by absentee landlords be revoked.

Coastal people further resolved that there should be in place an autonomous land policy to address historical land injustices.

Spark fury

“National government should pass a national land policy on historical land injustices, through which a substantive stand-alone law on how to address historical land injustices will be enacted,” the residents demanded.

They further called for full implementation of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) and Ndung’u reports, as a way of addressing the land-related injustices,

Coast residents  also want BBI to address gaps ailing the region’s economy, through revival of local defunct cash crops as well as industries related to cashew nuts, Bixa, coconut, rice, simsim and sugar.

Coast residents also demanded that the new directive requiring all cargo destined for Nairobi and beyond be evacuated via SGR and cleared at the Inland Container Depot, Nairobi,  be revoked to restore the economy of Mombasa.

Various speakers at the forum acknowledged that issues captured in the resolutions were vital matters and recommended BBI as the ultimate cure to injustices that have haunted Coast region over the years. 

Opposition leader Raila Odinga reckoned that views captured in the resolution are not new, and said BBI would finally address all those issues and help settle squatters at the Coast.

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