By AUGUSTINE NJENGE | NOVEMBER 17th 2016
Society for International Development (SID) Associate Director, Irungu Houghton, a Shule Yangu Alliance member on Monday 7th November paid a courtesy call to the Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno at his offices in Eldoret, Kenya. With him were Chairman of the National Land Commission, Prof. Muhammad Swazuri, National Land Commission Commissioner Dr. Samuel Kipng’etich Tororei, Deputy County Director of Education, Simon Kemei, County Executive Member for Lands, Housing, and Physical Planning Robert Ng’esirei, and County Executive Member for Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, & Social Services, Enock Muigei.
All present subsequently proceeded to a press briefing where they briefed the media on the proposed Launch of the #ProtectMySchool campaign, calling upon the public to support the initiative.
After the press briefing, all present proceeded to visit various public utilities within Eldoret town that have been grabbed. This included the Administration Police camp and a hospital in the centre of town. At Kimalel Primary School, the Shule Yangu Alliance together with the National Land Commission toured and inspected the land believed to have been grabbed in 2015 by a private developer. The team then proceeded to launch the #ProtectMySchool week of action, and the pilot program to survey and title all public schools in Uasin Gishu.
Community Members were visibly angry at the loss of their public utility land and called upon Shule Yangu, the National Land Commission, and the County Government to come to their aid and ensure that the land is reverted back for the purposes of public utility by the end of December 2016.
Land-grabbing is prevalent in Uasin Gishu, with the Governor, Jackson Mandago, raising alarm in April 2016, over the rate of grabbing public land. With over 500 court cases related to public land grabbing in the county, the Governor raised concern of systematic grabbing by powerful and corrupt individuals. Further, reports from the NLC indicate that there are increased instances of public school land grabbing have been reported by schools in Uasin Gishu. Kimalel Primary School sits on such land though the school has a title deed plans by area community to build a secondary school are in jeopardy because a private developer has already fenced off the land adjacent to the primary school.