Header Ads

Thika Integrated IDPs vow to use their vote wisely to kick out irresponsive leaders

A section of integrated IDPs during a Peace & Trauma Healing’ session at the International Professional Counselors Centre in Thika Town  on Saturday where they expressed their disappointment with the current leadership for giving their plight a wide berth.
A section of integrated IDPs living in Thika have vowed not to re-elect leaders who never delivered any of the promises they made to them in the run up to 2013 elections.

Speaking during a ‘Peace & Trauma Healing’ session at the International Professional Counselors Centre (IPCC) in Thika Town, these IDPs expressed utter disappointment and frustration in the manner in which their plight was being handled.

Through the Kiambu IDPs Chairperson Mr. John Njuguna, the IDPs recalled how these leaders wooed them out to vote for them in 2013, promising to look into their tribulations once the assumed office only for them to later take them in circles.

“In 2013, they came begging us to get out and vote for them and President Uhuru Kenyatta. Unfortunately, once they got into office, they forgot about us and all attempts to reach them has been fruitless. It is now four year down the line and nothing have been forthcoming. This time round, we promise to lead the pack in voting them out as once bitten, twice shy,” said Njuguna.

Njuguna narrated how he has been up and down various offices in pursuit of justice for these people but the leaders kept giving them a wide berth.

“These people are hungry. They are desperate and majority of them are dying of trauma. The community is looking down on us and considering us as a burden. I believe they had our issues in mind before coming to power but they got to power and changed. Since they have changed, we are waiting for them in August,” he added.

Njuguna could not comprehend how the people who had encroached on government forest in Mau received a KES. 400,000 compensation while they, who were evicted from their own land, were being offered a mere KES. 10,000 send off.

“How will sh. 10,000 help me kick-start my life? This is contempt of the highest order. We are going to camp at the Thika West DCC’s office starting next Monday until our grievances are heard,” he quipped.

Elizabeth Nyambura whose shop was razed down in Eldoret town said that all they needed was someone to hand them the ‘fishing net’.

“We are not beggars as these leaders try to portray us. We used to earn our own money and all we want is someone to assist us to get back on our feet again,” said Nyambura.

Dr. Susan Gitau, the brains behind the healing programme said that she felt quite disappointed in the way leaders had deceived these group of IDPs for a long time. She added that having walked their journey for the last few years, she felt so irritated to see people play politics in the plight of poor Kenyan’s whose only crime was to exercise their democratic right to choose their leaders.

“Their plight is no longer theirs alone. It has reached a point where it has been spread to their neighbours. I have experienced several cases of vicarious trauma which can now be associated to some of the recent deaths we have witnessed among these people. Recently we lost one our very devoted member of this team after his host got tired of their burden. How many of these people will we lose for our leaders to respond? I think it is time we said enough is enough,” said Ms. Gitau who is a Counseling Psychologist at the IPCC and a lecturer at Africa Nazarene University.

The occasion was graced by members of Jungle Foundation who donated foodstuff to the IDPs and promised to schedule a date when they would meet and discuss ways to rejuvenate their lives.

Leader of the delegation Mr. Edwin Gitau Kibe said that through the foundation’s Economic Empowerment Pillar, they would offer this group the much needed support by assisting them in job creation.

“The best way to alleviate the challenges you are going through is to help you to create your own jobs. Jungle Foundation is willing to give you an opportunity to start earning a stable income and stop your dependency on other people to survive,” said Kibe.

Thika has 640 registered households under the integrated IDP programme. This group of IDPs are still accommodated in cheap rental houses in slums and people's homes across the sub-county. As the government settled those IDPs who were living in camps, this lot was overlooked as they were not in the public limelight due to their ‘secondary’ accommodation thus it was very easy for the authorities to sweep their plight under the carpet.

They have continues to suffer even as their counterparts benefit from state programmes meant to address the plight of IDPs across the country. Majority of them are yet to gain acceptance by the respective host communities despite having been offered refuge by relatives and well-wishers several years back. The situation has led to their socio-economic alienation contrary to the notion that the IDPs have properly integrated within their respective host communities.

They continue to miss out on critical development opportunities at the grassroots including funding by both the county and national government due to their origin.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.