May 29, 2011 by
DJ MPENZI in
My Trip To Kenya
The scenery has been breathtaking; I can’t seem to get enough of the scenery, the green, the fresh fruit, maize (corn for you western folks lol), the land is so very connected with the people. Now I must say that having a camera, I had to take some of the scenery I drove by and wake up to every morning for you to be able to appreciate the beauty I am honored to be a part of. (see below)
Now let’s get a little political, there is so much land theft going on in Kenya. The rightful people to the land wake up one morning and realize their ancestral land has been stolen (sold) to outside investors, farmers and so on. It is actually such a political and corrupt process that it churns my stomach.
Let me try and break it down. Flash back during the colonial era, the British came in, preached the gospel and slowly rob the people their land in the name of god. Come independence in 1963 the government signs treaties (no word of these until the new constitution came to effect) that allowed the white owners to continue holding the land even after independence. Little known fact is that these treaties, benefitted a few and robbed many including majority of the Mau Mau Rebellion whom refused to sign them in exchange for the land they rightfully owned well except Kenyatta and some of his loyals. (Read the book “The trial of Dedan Kimathi)
Eventually the government under Kenyatta, then Moi, then Kibaki start acquiring back the land from these people but instead of returning it to the people of Kenya, they kept it to themselves and later sold/leased the land to rich select government MP’s (Member of Parliament) and/or outside European investors. These MP’s then lease the land to make profit(leases are known to be for 999 years) and the European outside investors create factories and businesses that do not benefit the people or the economy but rob and use the land for their own profit.
Overnight a man that has lived on the property of his ancestors becomes a squatter and the owner has a DEED to prove it. The rightful owner (the now squatter) never knew there was a land ownership act, a process, which until now was very corrupt, and DEEDS were sold or created for a price.
Case in point the Kenyatta Family(estimated wealth now at $1.2 Billion) own so much land some of which comprises of 2/3 of Taita Taveta County (size of Oakland) give or take a few acres and FYI Uhuru Kenyatta is the Finance Minister (Hella Suspect). Sasimi an outside coffee company owns all the coffee growing land/right in Ruiru which is one of the top coffee producing areas in Kenya (land that was once owned by the people, bought by the government, sold to Sasimi). Mombasa which many folks do not know was actually not a part of Kenya and because of shady deals between Arabs, British and the Kenya government was bought after independence and parts of land sold to outside investors from Germany, Italy and U.S to build these hotels, luxury suites and so forth. There are parts of the sea coast that when I was little could just walk through and now you just can’t because of a greedy government. Almost all MP’s own land they acquired during their government tenure!!
I am actually encouraged by the new constitution but I have to say the people of Kenya are so tired of the government and corruption that they are starting to mobilize. I have never been to any country in the world that actually participated in the writing of its constitution and actually read the damn thing and also hold their government accountable. The government is changing but I feel it’s time that WE (Kenyans Abroad) got even more involved and helped local Kenyans PUSH out these old fools(or should I say greedy corrupt fools) in government.
Kenya has such a huge potential to become an exporter of finished GOODS more that just exporting raw materials and the first step is for the government to return the land to it’s people and second provide money for them to create their own sustainable businesses. There is HOPE in the horizon but we do need to get involved.
KENYA NI YETU.