Mandago castigates land recovery policy

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021 00:00 |
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago addresses residents at a past meeting. Photo/PD/File

Wycliffe Kipsang

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago yesterday called for dialogue among government organisations before execution of actions that touch on the welfare of ordinary citizens.

 Governor Mandago yesterday said that hundreds of traders countrywide including Eldoret town have incurred losses running into millions of shillings following demolitions of their structures established on Kenya Railways land. 

“It is prudent that there are wide consultations among all stakeholders before the public is widely subjected to such losses,” said Governor Mandago while speaking Eldoret.

 He said the buildings demolished in Eldoret housed several businesses and many people have been rendered jobless.

 Mandago was categorical that it would have been prudent for a discussion before the demolition was undertaken arguing that the traders had signed an agreement with Kenya Railways Corporation.

 “My opinion is that there should be wider discussions with all the affected people including county government and other agencies because it has led to big losses,” said the county boss.

Land not leased

 “There are several options which need to be considered especially when plans to develop the repossessed land is not urgent, and the space may remain undeveloped for years,” added Mandago.

More than 400 jobs were lost in the North Rift in an operation, which was led by Rift Valley Regional Coordinator George Natembeya.

According to Natembeya, the Kenya Railways land was not leased adding that the affected had illegally encroached into the land.

“The business operators were given notice through the media in 2019. Time has come for the government to recover the land,” said the administrator.

Traders in the region have however accused the government for carrying out the demolitions within a short notice.

They said the owners of the buildings had leased the property for between 25 and 30 years, a claim the government has dismissed.

Arrest and charge

“Hundreds of people have lost jobs and Uasin Gishu County has lost revenue. It will be difficult to secure another business location,” said Eunice Njeri, an affected business owner.

Meanwhile, Muslim leaders in Mombasa have condemned the demolition of Jamia mosque in Kibos the corporation.

Deputy chairman, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, Mudhar Khitamy said persons who executed the evictions   should be arrested and be charged as they went against a court order.

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