What you need to know:
- Nothing, after all, demonstrates the shamelessness of the tribalised Kenyan State like the story of the IDP resettlement and compensation programme.
- In the latest disbursements to the IDPs in various camps in Nakuru and Uasin Gishu, each family was to reportedly receive Sh200,000 to enable them buy land.
- Ms Waiguru, in whose docket the IDP compensation matter falls, has emphatically stated that ‘we can’t go back to the integrated IDPs’.
The clusters of internally displaced persons (IDPs) shanties doting certain parts of the Rift Valley have long stood to remind us of the shame of the post-election violence of 2007 and 2008, which killed an estimated 1,300 and uprooted 650,000 from their homes.
A few weeks ago, Deputy President William Ruto and Ms Anne Waiguru, the Devolution minister, were on the ground to hand cheques to the residents so they can leave and go rebuild their lives elsewhere.
For the umpteenth time, Kenyans were being told that these beneficiaries of the State resettlement programme for the IDPs were the last in the camps.
If Mr Ruto felt a bit awkward that some of the folks with their hands stretched out could be the same ones he is accused of causing their suffering at the International Criminal Court, he certainly did his best to conceal it.
Nothing, after all, demonstrates the shamelessness of the tribalised Kenyan State like the story of the IDP resettlement and compensation programme.
In the latest disbursements to the IDPs in various camps in Nakuru and Uasin Gishu, each family was to reportedly receive Sh200,000 to enable them buy land.
Early this month, the Senate indicated it will set up a special committee to investigate claims of selective payments to the IDPs, with some families having got Sh400,000 each plus a piece of land, others Sh400,000 only and still others Sh10,000.
The elephant in the room is, of course, the apparent role of ethnicity in the valuation of loss from the post-election violence.
The recipients of Sh400,000 plus a piece of land or Sh400,000 only are largely Kikuyu victims of the violence who settled in various camps in Uasin Gishu, Nakuru and Laikipia counties as are the latest beneficiaries of the Sh200,000 payout.
Their less fortunate counterparts who had to make do with a miserly Sh10,000 are largely Luos, Luhyas and Kisiis who fled the violence in Naivasha and some parts of central Kenya.
In the official resettlement and compensation programme, the latter victims have been labelled ‘integrated IDPs’, suggesting that their having fled into the relative safety of their rural communities back in western Kenya was deemed to be worth up to Sh390,000 in State reparation.
Ms Waiguru, in whose docket the IDP compensation matter falls, has emphatically stated that ‘we can’t go back to the integrated IDPs’.
That sounds pretty ominous for the Luo, Luhya and Kisii IDPs, coming from a minister whose word is widely thought to carry quite some weight in high places.
Yet it is not only the IDPs that need to worry about selective payments.
Everyone in a country where even personal political grievances have historically fuelled ethnic hatred and threatened national cohesion should be concerned.
The thought that some politician may run away with it and take it to a charged election campaign rally in 2017 is particularly scary.