The Embu Governor, Martin Wambora has suggested that there is no need to subdivide afresh the Mwea Settlement Scheme despite calls by some residents to annul the earlier process that had resulted in many residents becoming landless.
The Governor said the county had gone far in overseeing the subdivision of the land and that the National Land Commission should not wish that effort away as it looks for ways to unlock the controversy surrounding the land.
Speaking on Wednesday during a meeting with National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) officials led by Kilian Nyamu, Assistant Director Civil Educational and Advocacy, Wambora said starting the process afresh is costly, unaffordable, time-consuming and would drag the county backward.
He said the county facilitated the withdrawal of all court cases that had been petitioned by elders of Kirinyaga, Embu, Mbeere and Kamba communities over the land, held several public participation meetings among other processes concerning the land.
He said the Ministries ofInterior and Lands should work towards unlocking the impasse over the land, to enhance peaceful co-existence and cohesion in the area.
During the meeting women leaders across the county complained that Mwea land controversy was a threat to the county’s peace and cohesion and that it should be addressed amicably.
“We have done a lot on the Mwea land. We have come from far, facilitated the removal of all cases that existed for close to 50 years, done many public participation meetings, and started the allocation of the land. It is costly and took a lot of our time. This should not be wished away, as the government seeks for solution on the 44,000 acres of land,” he said.
The subdivision of the land was halted by Interior and Lands Ministry when one person died and four others sustained gunshot wounds after police fired shots to create calm as groups violently resisted attempts to have new beneficiaries shown their parcels of land.
Residents, most of whom missed out land during the previous allocation have since complained to the government to have an all-inclusive process started afresh, and all the residents considered in the new allocation.
Wambora said the Mwea land issue was being handled very competently in higher offices and assured that the issues surrounding the land have been understood and will be fair to all.
By Muoki Charles