“Did anyone carry land on his head and brough it here? This is our land and no one can come here and pretend that they are donating land to us. It has been here and it is ours,” he quipped, taking a swipe at the government’s recent resettlement efforts of squatters.
Mombasa County Governor Hassan Ali Joho has scathingly attacked the Jubilee government led by President Uhuru Kenyatta for the historical injustice in the Coastal region.
Speaking to supporters of the opposition NASA Alliance in Kwale County, Joho accused the regime for failure to address land matters and the rampant forceful disappearances of the youth in the mostly populous Muslim region.
“Did anyone carry land on his head and come here? This is our land and no one can come here and pretend that they are donating land to us. It has been here and it is ours,” he quipped, taking a swipe at the government’s recent resettlement efforts of squatters.
A fortnight ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta went ballistic against Coastal opposition leaders, especially Kwale County’s Wiper party gubernatorial candidate Chirau Mwakwere.
Besides being angered by Mr Mwakere’s nerve in ditching Jubilee Party while serving as Kenya’s High Commissioner to Tanzania, the President also took a dim view of what he described as Mwakwere’s smear campaign to portray the Jubilee government and Governor Salim Mvurya’s administration as having allowed the grabbing of land and minerals from Kwale residents.
National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential candidate Raila Odinga, Joho and Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi have since launched a stinging attack against Jubilee for failing to address land matters at the Coast.
The President’s sentiments were a pointer to the sensitivity of land in Coast politics where things are getting hotter with minerals in the mix – issues that will dominate the election agenda in this region.
“He (Mwakwere) has been going round claiming that Salim Mvurya joined Jubilee to steal the resources of Kwale people,” said Uhuru who was flanked by his deputy William Ruto and Mr Mvurya in Lunga Lunga.
Uhuru threatened to expose Mwakwere’s alleged ‘past’ but the former Matuga MP said he was ready for the eventuality. He declared that he had his own dossier on who owns land in the Coast region and categorised the Jubilee regime as one of Kenya’s worst governments since independence.
Just like the late Kwale Senator Boy Juma Boy, Mwakwere has claimed that a top Jubilee politician has acquired thousands of acres in a mineral-rich portion of Kwale.
The county is rich in titanium and niobium (rare earth minerals) found in Maumba/Nguluku and Mrima Hills respectively hence the growing interest in the county.
The land buying spree and secrecy behind the matter of expired 99-year leases is providing fodder for the Opposition, which has discredited Jubilee’s dishing out of title deeds as a superficial solution to the region’s land problem.
“Our youths are disappearing each day in unexplained circumstances, without a trace. Have we forgetten that? Have we?” he pensively asks the qudience in the video.
Opposition leaders, in their campaign trail of the coast, have accused Jubilee of refusing to implement the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report that also focuses on historical land injustices at the Coast because of vested interests.
The basis of their argument is that the President’s family owns large tracts of land at the Coast, particularly in Taveta sub-county. Mr Kingi claims Jubilee cannot implement the reports because key Jubilee officials are implicated.
“I was astounded when the Jubilee brigade led by the President and Deputy President came to Kilifi and told us they didn’t want to hear about people complaining of historical injustices,” said Kingi.
While on a tour of Mombasa recently, Lands Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said the Jubilee government had made progress in the resettlement of squatters, adding that it would produce about 500,000 title deeds in the next six months to achieve its three million target by the end of this year.
He said the Government had processed about 2.5 million title deeds since 2013 and cited the purchase of 930 acres of Evanson Waitiki’s farm in Likoni, Mombasa County, and allocation of the land to thousands of squatters who had occupied it in spite of protests by the county government.