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Citizen Weekly

Sunday 10 August 2014


Tension in the expansive Uasin Gishu county has risen to high levels after the beleaguered Governor
Jackson Mandago defied a court order last week and  evicted hawkers from the town without giving them an alternative as he also issued an eviction notice to other thousands of tenants.

Principal Magistrate Francis Kyambia issued an order on May 27 last year stopping the evictions but Mandago in total disregard of the rule of law, went ahead and ordered his askaris to evict the smallscale traders by force.

Mandago also issued an eviction notice to residents who reside in the densely-populated estates of Kidiwa, Pioneer, Bondeni and Argwings Kodhek.
Mandago was accused of using the lame excuse of evicting the residents in order to have the estates repaired, but residents charged that the explanation does not hold water.
Accusations flew to the effect that sharks were rearing to grab the estates and it was for this reason that Mandago had issued the eviction order.

The occupants have lived in the affected estates for over 40 years.
Residents said that the tension they were currently witnessing in Uasin Gishu was tantamount to the one reigning in Lamu.
They have strongly protested against the eviction move and appealed to the national government to intervene immediately as Mandago continued polarising the county and ruling with an iron fist.

It has also emerged that a member of Mandago’s kitchen cabinet Sammy Ruto, a former Mayor of Eldoret town and who has also been mentioned on several occasions as having been linked to the 2007 post-election violence by providing fuel to attackers, was the brains behind Mandago’s scheme of evicting people from other communities.
Residents described Ruto whose name has also featured in the ICC hearings, as “a dangerous man and a tribal lord”.

They charged that Ruto, who councillor of Kimumu, was misadvising Mandago on the best strategies to adopt to kick out people from other communities from the Uasin Gishu county.
Kimumu was one of the areas seriously affected by the 2007/2008 post-election violence and Ruto allegedly had all the tricks at his fingertips on eviction strategies against people from other communities.

They also accused Mandago of telling other communities to go where they belong”.
Mandago was also accused of blocking sub-division of plots measuring one-eighth of an acre, thus making it impossible for some communities to own title deeds after purchasing the pieces of land from willing sellers.
County employees who did not belong to his tribe were being frustrated by being posted to disadvantaged areas so that they would call it a day and quit.

Similarly, the county job rationalisation aimed at reducing the wage bill was targeting other tribes, local residents complained.
Journalists have also been ordered by Mandago to toe the line or be evicted from the county.
Elders from the other communities have petitioned the national government to stop Mandago from his machinations against other communities.

Residents told Weekly Citizen that should the planned referendum be held, the outcome would be on a 50-50 basis like it happened during the 2005 plebiscite.
The residents also said that they had called for divine intervention in churches in view of Mandago’s rule which they hope would come to an end some day.

Some residents said they wasted their votes by voting for Mandago during the last general elections unaware that he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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