Defence Cabinet Secretary Hon. Aden Duale has today met senior officials from the State Department for Lands, Uasin Gishu County Government and the National Lands Commission (NLC) to resolve the stalemate on encroachment of the Eldoret Military Land.
The meeting held at the Defence Headquarters, Nairobi was aimed at finding a lasting solution for the disputes emanating from the grabbing of lands at Moi Barracks, Recruits Training School (RTS) and the Kenya Ordnance Factories Corporation (KOFC) in Eldoret.
Hon. Duale noted that the encroachment by squatters is a historical problem that has spanned for decades and needs closure by providing a lasting solution. He noted that the Ministry shall provide alternative land to relocate the locals that have occupied critical areas in close proximity to the military installation and the factory.
The CS acknowledged the work done by a technical committee tasked with finding viable recommendations adding that the committee should be reconstituted to involve all stakeholders and the community. He affirmed that the KDF intends to remain good neighbors with the local community to enable them to discharge their core mandate of defending and protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic.
“We are requesting the community not to have a hard stance when told to move to other areas. There are errors committed in the past while allocating the land which led to encroachment but we now want to correct them and find a permanent solution,” said the CS.
Hon. Duale revealed there are plans to expand the factory which is hampered by the presence of squatters adding that there should not be any military-civilian disputes.
The CS extended the term of the technical committee and expanded its membership to include officials from the county government, NLC, Attorney General, County Commissioner and Turbo Member of the National Assembly.
He directed the Principal Secretary in the State Department for Lands, Hon. Nixon Korir -who was present during the meeting to chair the committee to improve the document on the mechanisms of relocating the squatters. The committee is set to meet the CS in a month’s time to report on the progress and the recommendations.
Present during the meeting were Defence Principal Secretary Mr Patrick Mariru, Vice Chief of Defence Forces (VCDF) Lieutenant General Francis Ogolla and the Assistant Chief of Defence Forces in charge of Personnel and Logistics (ACDF P&L) Major General Muthuri Kiugu.
Others were Uasin Gichu Governor Jonathan Bii, Senator Jackson Mandago, Turbo MP Janet Sitienei, NLC Chairperson Gershom Otachi and other county officials.