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The Government has extended the suspension of the resettlement exercise at the Mwea settlement scheme, until lasting solution to the dispute is found.

Interior Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Fred Matiang’i said they were receiving much pressure by some people to lift the suspension, but will not be in a hurry to endorse a process that could cause security nightmares.

Speaking in Embu town after meeting Eastern regional national government administrators, the CS said  the Interior and Lands ministries, and the office of Attorney General have put up a team that is working to resolve the matter.

He said the land has several underlying issues revolving around its adjudication, together with court cases that must first be resolved before lifting any ban.

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He said government will bring aboard all the political leaders from Embu and discuss on the way forward in resolving the issue.

“The suspension on resettlement in Mwea land stays until the underlying issues are resolved. Let us not pretend that there aren’t issues. The way the adjudication was done, it has to be discussed and worked on. We don’t want to wake up in the morning and be told people have been killed,” he said.

The resettlement was stopped in April after one person died and about a dozen were injured as residents’ resisted attempts to have new beneficiaries shown their parcels of land in the 44,000 acres of land.

Most of those who resisted the resettlement claimed that they missed out during the allocation exercise where 7,232 title deeds were issued.

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Embu and Mbeere elders on Thursday welcomed the CS’s remarks saying a new allocation exercise should be initiated where all elders are involved.

They said lifting the suspension without resolving the underlying issues would lead to bloodshed and should ensure that all residents receive land.

“Most of those who were allocated land are wealthy politicians and government officials. Deserving residents were overlooked and this was the cause of the bloody confrontations. We ask the government to start the process afresh,” said Embu council of elders’ chairperson, Andrew Ireri.

The issues surrounding the land dates for years when Embu and Kirinyaga Counties were one, with the two county governments claiming ownership of the land.



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