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IDPs Threat to Boycott Census Over Neglect

About 600 families who were displaced during the 2007/08 post-election violence have vowed to boycott the national census exercise, accusing government of neglect.

The families who pitched camps at the Muhu farm in Mawingo area of Nyandarua County after the 2007/2008 post-election violence have cited failure by the government to address their plight for more than 10 years after they were displaced.

A spot-check by KNA revealed a sorry state where the IDPs patched up their worn out tents with polythene papers and gunny bags to beat the chilly weather. Some even thatched the tents with grass in desperate attempts to shield themselves from the biting cold and rains.

“We have lost over 60 people due to this diseases and incidences that would have been prevented. We don’t even have graves to bury our people but nobody seems concerned with our suffering,” cried 83-year old, Maria Wanjiku.

Wanjiku attributed the sad state to the post-election violence saying that their current state and suffering was as a result of exercising their democratic right (voting).

“I would rather not participate in the census exercise because as much as the government is advocating for our cooperation in the exercise to help in its planning, we feel neglected, forgotten and tired of promises,” noted Anastasia Waithera, another victim in the camp.

Waithera accused politicians of “misusing” them to fulfil their objectives during elections only to be dumped later.

“The same leaders for whom we paid the price including losing our loved ones have not showed much enthusiasm in addressing our plights, yet they now urging us to be counted,” she cried.

The camp chairperson Evans Karanja said that it was out of frustrations that the victims had vowed not to participate in the exercise.

“We carry our loved ones by back to take them to hospitals when ill and carry their caskets by our shoulders as we lack access to good roads.

“Clean water is another disaster as we all queue in a nearby swamp for water and when it dries we walk for miles,” said the chairperson

The victims called on both levels of government to move with speed and address their sorry state before they register more deaths.

“Since the genesis of devolution, we have not received relief food as we are told the county government is responsible for its issuance,” said Karanja.

Their cries comes as the country prepares for the national population and housing census exercise which is set to kick off in three days’ time.

By Jesse Mwitwa

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