Kenyan Internally displaced people (IDPs) have suffered more heartache that the average Kenyan can imagine. Picture this : One day you are all settled in a house you have labored for years to build and the business you have so painstakingly built from nothing. The next minute it’s all razed down and you escape with your life as some of your family members are slain in the mayhem. You are sheltered in paper houses aka IDP camps and the only people who can help you-your country leaders- soon enough forget all about you and focus on other issues….. like their salary increments. Being an IDP must hurt so bad and the phrase “Najivunia kuwa mkenya” must sound like mockery to these Kenyan citizens, rendered homeless in their own motherland.
Since the 2007/2008 Post Election Violence that saw the country come to its knees in confusion and mayhem, a lot has been promised to IDPs. Much less, however has been delivered. It’s been three years now and these fellow citizens are still living in camps with their families, still stuck in the ‘picking up the pieces’ phase of their lives.
Life is not all gloomy in the IDP camps though. Last week Daily Nation ran a story about an IDP who drives a car the average Kenyan can only dream of. Peter Kariuki who also owns a laptop and Blackberry lives in Mawingu IDP camp,Rift valley and is like the CEO of IDPs in Kenya. Mawingu camp is not your ordinary IPD camp. Through Mr. Kariuki’s efforts(presumably), they have acquired a TV and DSTV connection.
The article sparked quite a debate as to whether the people living in camps, or rather what percentage of them, are actually ‘real’ IDPs. “The real IDPs were resettled!”, asserted one reader. Another added that most of the IDPs are actually posers who were probably hawkers or shoe shiners with no land of their own before the Post Election Violence but are now banking on the Government to ‘resettle’ them.
The real IDPs were resettled. How true/untrue is this statement? Who are these people living in camps, IDPs or opportunists?