By Peter Mutai
Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) began its sittings in Kericho town, with claims of land injustices dominating the proceedings.
TJRC commissioners, led by Tecla Namachanja, held their sittings at Kericho Teachers Training College hall. The commission heard that members of the Kipsigis community, from the expansive South Rift region, lost more than 245,000 acres of land to colonialists. In a memorandum presented to the commission, leaders from the region claimed the community lost more than 130,000 acres of land in Sotik scheme in Sotik District.
The memorandum, which was read by Bill Ruto, a historian and researcher, said the land was granted to white settlers to create "Sotik highlands" to grow tea and dairy farming. "In the Sotik area, the Europeans occupied land that stretched "ten miles beyond the Manga boundary" (current Borabu District)... the leaders claimed that the land was later allocated to other communities," the memorandum stated.
They claimed that more than 5,000 acres of land was never returned to the community during the resettlement programme. In Londiani-Kipkelion area, the community allegedly lost more than 90,000 acres of land.
On Monday morning, a group of protesters held a peaceful demonstration along the Kericho-Nakuru highway where they blocked the commissioners on their way to Kericho Teachers Training College. The demonstrators, majority of whom are squatters were allegedly displaced by multinational tea companies.Last Edited: Tue 20th September 2011 at 07:48:57 AM