BY PETER KOMBE
Coast elected leaders should join hands in order to resolve the land question that has dogged the region since time in memorial.
Kisauni MP Ali Mbogo, who is a member of the Parliamentary Lands Committee, warns that historical injustices are a ticking time-bomb that should be addressed quickly by the current crop of leadership.
According to him lack of commitment on the part of leaders was to blame for all injustices being meted out to the people of the region year in, year out.
“For historical injustice to be a thing of the past, we must come together otherwise we will continue to grind our teeth, to lament and cry of marginalisation when we are the ones marginalising ourselves,” he says.
Speaking to a civil society on governance and land issues at Sapphire Hotel on Thursday (April 11, 2019), Mr Mbogo decried the lack of political will and collaborative approach in dealing with situational problems in the region.
However, the legislator said the magnitude of the land question was so enormous and challenging that it required sober minds and patience to resolve.
“What I can say is that currently every coast representative is doing something on this issue (land). All our elected leaders are doing something in their areas and it is my hope things will turn to the better,” he added.
According to him the Parliamentary committee is committed to addressing the historical land injustices so that the people of the region can enjoy the rights like their counterparts elsewhere in the country.
The committee is working closely with the National Land Commission NLC in order to deal with pertinent issues afflicting land ownership in the area.
“We are ready and resolved to solve the land question in the Coast region and due to this we are working with NLC to attain our goal,” he said.
At the same time, the MP warned ‘professional squatters’ with the habit of invading other people’s parcels of land saying the government will not spare them.
Civil bodies led by advocate Zedekia Adika of Kituo cha Sheria urged the public to remain vigilant and use the proper channels when dealing with the land question.
According to him by working with the political class on land issues the Coast residents will be able to address the problem amicably.
“I want citizens to remain vigilant and raise alarm whenever they see land grabbers invading land meant for different social amenities so as to reduce such vices,” he says.
In his opinion locals will only achieve their objective if the speak with one voice and act as a team when tackling land problems.
He also called on the locals to involve various stakeholders such as human rights bodies where they hit a snag in order for them to address teething problems.
Pre-and-post independence era, the land question has caused most Coastal politicians either to win or lose their elective seats on the way they handled this issue.