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This is What We are going Through Despite The Termination Of The ICC Cases – Integrated IDPs.

382 Integrated IDPs in Kiambu region are appealing to the government to assist them rebuild their lives after spending more than 9 years in very deplorable conditions.

Speaking at the Kiandutu Cemetery in Thika Sub-County during the burial of one of their colleagues Mr. Mburu Gicheru, Kiambu IDPs Chairperson Mr. John Njuguna narrated the tribulations they had to go through as integrated IDPs. He cited several examples of their colleagues who had succumbed to depression related ailments within the last few years.

We have been going through so many hardships since we sought refuge here as integrated IDPs. Mr. Gicheru here has died out of depression. After his host issued him with an eviction notice, he barely lived for two weeks as his health deteriorated due to pressure. We have lost about 10 people in similar circumstances, the latest being that of a young kid who died just yesterday,” said Njuguna.

Their problems are compounded by the fact that when they flee their homes after the 2007-8 clashes, they never went to camps, they sought refuge in their relatives’ homes while those who had a few coins rented some homes within Thika and environs. In this way, it was very hard for them to get immediate attention or assistance from the government since they were scattered all over and did not know each other. The authorities concentrated on those that were in camps, completely overlooking the integrated lot.

Eventually they registered themselves with the authorities who temporarily assisted them with foodstuffs and clothing for some time before they completely forgot and abandoned them.

“Both the provincial administration and the elected leaders are aware about us. The government helped us until 31st January 2011. We know the government is in the process of assisting the integrated IDPs. We are therefore appealing to them to come to our aid so that we can start our lives all over again,” Njuguna said.
Otherwise, they said that they were unwilling to be resettled in their previous land since, according to them, that would trigger a fresh round of ethnic clashes.

“We are not opposed to going back but this will spark fresh conflicts because those who evicted us took over our land and property. As for me here, my land is being cultivated by my former neighbour. Going back there would mean starting fresh land disputes with the natives who are now unwilling to return our land,” he said. 

He alleged that those who had returned to these places were not living in their farms. He said that those who attempted to force themselves back into their farms found themselves being threatened or actually had their houses demolished again.

He said that their plea to the government is for it to seek for an alternative solution to their problem instead as this would help them forgive and forget.

“All we want is peace and to live with harmony with those people,” he concluded.

Flora Wanjiku said that the inability of majority of them to generate income had led to so much suffering. She said that some of their hosts had started getting impatient with their inability to pay rent and have started threatening them with eviction notices.

She accused the administration of giving them a hard time when they sought for birth certificates to their children as well as IDs. The situation was the same when they sought for bursaries from the area MP’s Office and those of the County Government of Kiambu and their respective MCAs.

“Many of us are suffering so much especially when any of their family fall sick. Majority of us cannot access to health services and no one is concerned with our plight. We as the IDPs have been living in stigma as the society take us as outcasts and troublemakers who whine all day,” said Wanjiku.

She also lamented that their marriages were breaking up due to their living conditions.

“Now you find that in some cases one is married with big children and is living in a very small single-roomed house. It becomes so challenging if the couple is to satisfy each others conjugal rights with the children still sleeping just inches away,” she said.

Otherwise, they are happy that the cases of both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto’s cases at the ICC have been terminated saying that this would the government the opportunity to fully lend them an ear and listen to their plight.

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