The long-standing dispute over demarcation of the 54,000 acre Mwea Settlement Scheme in Mbeere South, Embu county is far from over. Area Member of Parliament Geoffrey King’ang’i has dismissed the adjudication and allotment process claiming it is skewed against those who have been there for decades.
The first-time Mbeere South MP and retired President Mwai Kibaki’s aide described the adjudiction process, culminating to allotment and issuance of title deeds to more than 7,000 beneficiaries, some of whom are from outside the scheme, as unfair.
Addressing a meeting of those aggrieved by the adjudication at Mashamba in Makima shopping centre, King’ang’i urged the Embu county government to repeat the exercise. He paraded several elderly men and women, some of them in their 80s, who have resided there since 1940s and who he claimed have been left out of the allotment.
“This is not only unfair but also inhuman,” he declared, adding that he would not sit back and watch. He spoke at a meeting convened by area Deputy County Commissioner Beverly Opwora to address security concerns following rising tension in the scheme over the process.
The MP further told the meeting also attended by the County Lands executive Josphat Kithumbu that most adjudication sections in the constituency were faced with serious challenges rendering issuance of title deeds impossible.
He identified Riachina, Gichiche, Riakanau, Wacooro, Karaba and Makima as examples of the sections whose land beneficiaries were yet to get title deeds. At the same time, King’ang’i has called for the resolution of the perenial conflict between residents at Seven Folks Hydro Electric power stations of Kiambere, Kindaruma, Gitaru and Masinga and Tana and Athi River Development Authorities (Tarda).
On the issue of arbitration of land matters and services in the area, the MP said out of the four sub-counties in the county, only Mbeere South has no land registry forcing residents to travel long distances to seek assistance.
“We, therefore, demand that a Land Registry be opened at Kiritiri, the sub-county headquarters immediately,” he said. Kithumbu and Opwora were booed and jeered when they attempted to address the crowd. The residenst accused them of failing to address complaints on the skewed allocation of land in the scheme.
The rationale used to allocate certain well-connected persons with as many as 100 hectares while inhabitants got as little as an acre or none at all has been cited as the cause of the serious dispute that has engulfed the process since 2014 when adjudication started.
Area MCAs Phillip Nzangi and Harrison Mwaluko of Makima and Mwea wards respectively vowed to champion the rights of their people without fear. “We must get justice and our rightful share of the scheme,” the two leaders said. – KNA