Southend Mall belongs to Hon. Stephen Manoti who served two terms as MP for Bobasi in Kisii County, as well as an Assistant Minister. As i watched those machines claw down million after million of that beautiful structure, i couldn’t help wondering how much noise we would have heard from his community had he been from one of those communities that pursue narrow personal and ethnic interests at the expense of the greater good of all Kenyans, the environment and the human race.
I juxtaposed the demolition with the Mau saga and realised that the Abagusii are several ages ahead of the section of the Kalenjin community that coalesces around William Ruto on matters civilization. Had we been them, here is what would have done. Our MPs from Kisii, Nyamira and the Gusii diaspora would have stormed Nairobi with trucks laden with building materials and incited Hon. Manoti, his tenants and their employees to go right back to the riparian land and reconstruct the demolished Mall.
This they would have justified on the basis of three very ridiculous lines of reasoning. The first is that Manoti has a title deed. Mark you, while most of the Mau encroachers do not have title deeds, and the ones held by the few who do are of questionable validity, Manoti’s title can be taken to the bank ~ and has very likely been used as collateral for a bank loan ~ literally. Manoti’s title deed has been used by lawyers who are very well versed in corporate law and conveyancing and tenancy contracts. In short, in terms of validity of titles, the Mau guys got nothing on Manoti.
Secondly, that he voted for Jubilee. Yes majority of the encroachers may have voted for Jubilee, but a good number of the Kipsigis in the Mau voted for Mashinani Party. And the Kisiis, Luos and Luhyas there voted for NASA. That is to say, that was not a 100% Jubilee vote. Manoti on the other hand voted 100% with his heart mind and soul for Jubilee. In fact, he lost the seat only because he was campaigning for Jubilee in an ODM zone. That is to say that in terms of voting for Jubilee, the Mau guys got nothing on Manoti.
Thirdly, that he ought to be compensated for the loss, or resettled elsewhere. If everyone who grabs public land and puts up structures there were entitled to compensation or resettlement elsewhere, then Manoti would be more entitled than the Mau evictees for the simple reason that his title deed is relatively more valid than theirs. And that brings up Syokimau where Kisiis lost multimillion shilling homes to which they held titles, had KPLC power connections, paid land other rates, had government services such as education,health and roads, but still lost and were neither compensated, nor resettled elsewhere.
I could go on, but the point is home. Let us all be like Kisiis and the other communities that engage their brains whenever members of their communities are caught breaking the law.