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Homeless Kenyans Face Grim Returnpdf print preview print preview
08/05/2008Page 2 of 2
“These people are still there and they are many compared to us. So unless we see the presence of police we are not going” the government, however, says security is no longer an issue, as it has deployed numerous security officers in the affected areas and built a new police station. Some argue that peace cannot be imposed through the barrel of a gun.

They say talks must be held between the rival groups to achieve real reconciliation. At the Agricultural Showground in the Rift Valley capital of Nakuru, hundreds of homeless people have taken to the streets to protest against moves to take them back to their homes.

The protesters, most of who were displaced from the western town of Eldoret where more than 40 people were burnt in a church, vowed not to return until their safety is guaranteed and compensation paid for what they lost. “Where do they want us to go? We’d rather die here. Let the government compensate us so that we can buy pieces of land elsewhere and rebuild our lives,” demanded one demonstrator.

For those who have returned, there was a mixture of anxiety and fear. Many came face-to-face with the immense loss they had suffered for the first time in four months. The places they were returning to now are a far cry from the homes they knew before the ill-fated presidential elections.

Mary Nyokabi, a resident of Kiambogo farm in Molo, sobbed uncontrollably at the sight of her husband’s grave. The husband was hacked to death during the post-election violence. Though going back home, many of the returnees had to be issued with tents that they will live in until they are able to rebuild the houses destroyed during the violence. Although the government programme has now begun, there is no indication as to how long it will take to resettle all of them. - BBC
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