News / Africa

Kenyan Lawmaker Sues Over Failure to Resettle IDPs

A boy talks to his mother, both internally-displaced persons, as she has lunch outside their temporary holding ground in Nakuru, Kenya, April 2008 (file photo)
A boy talks to his mother, both internally-displaced persons, as she has lunch outside their temporary holding ground in Nakuru, Kenya, April 2008 (file photo)

A Kenyan lawmaker is suing the country’s prime minister, internal security minister, and others for the government’s failure to resettle thousands of people displaced by ethnic violence following elections almost five years ago.

Member of Parliament for Naivasha John Mututho said the government has turned its back on thousands of internally-displaced people living in miserable conditions.

“It has continued to tramp on the rights of the IDPs numbering 350,000," Mutuhos said. "It is obvious that the ministers from this government are not willing or are not able to resolve the problem before the next general elections. The IDPs are a creation of this government. The same process that created this government is the one that created these IDPs."

Mututho’s lawsuit names Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is head of the Orange Democratic Movement party, Minister of Internal Security George Saitoti, who is chairman of the Party of National Unity, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, and several ministers.

The Orange Democratic Movement and the Party of National Unity are the two parties that comprise Kenya’s coalition government.

Mututho, who is not a member of the ruling coalition, is calling on the government to re-settle and compensate the thousands of people who escaped the killings, lootings, and other violence in the months following the December 2007 elections and who are still living in camps, largely in tents with little food, water and sanitation.

“The only thing that we have in a just government is to have the court action to restore these IDPs’ rights and to bar these political parties from participating in the [upcoming] elections if they do not settle the IDPs,” Mututho said.

He noted that the government has taken some measures to re-settle people, but says most of the money for this purpose has been squandered.

Mututho also is calling on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission not to draw up electoral boundaries for the next elections until the IDPs have been settled, saying that such a large unsettled population could sway votes.

When contacted by VOA, government spokesman Alfred Mutua and officials from the Party of National Unity and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission would not comment on the case. Mutua said the government is discussing the plight of the IDPs.

The Kenya Human Rights Commission estimates that more than 663,000 Kenyans fled their homes in the days and months following the December 2007 elections.

Much of the fighting was ethnic based, where communities turned against one another following the disputed election results. Subsequent investigations by different organizations accuse politicians of whipping up ethnic sentiments for political gains. More than 1,000 people were killed.

Through the years, the Kenyan government has conducted a number of programs and offered funds for people to return to their original homes or start up new lives elsewhere. But there are still about 20 settlements where people are living in temporary shelters.

The Hague-based International Criminal Court is expected to announce next Monday whether it will proceed with the trials of six high-level suspects for their alleged roles in masterminding or financing the post-election violence.

Kenyans are set to go to the polls anytime this year or by March of next year. The exact date is still not set.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More