Top Stories / Counties
Friday, 14 Oct 2016 15:38 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Siaya County Members of Parliament are up in arms against each other on who to blame over the problems bedeviling the controversial Yala Swamp which was leased to an American fishing and horticultural company. Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo has hit out at his colleagues accusing them of failing to articulate the grievances of the electorate who are not benefiting from the project as was expected.
Mr Midiwo said that Dominion Farm is currently doing sugarcane farming in Yala Swamp against the wishes of the public owing to the opaque process that led to its acquisition of the farm. He traced the problems to more than a decade ago when a District Development Committee convened by the then Siaya DC Boaz Cherutich invited all the legislators from the region to discuss Dominion Farm and its operations in Yala Swamp, and all the MPs boycotted the meeting.
The then MPs were current Siaya Senator James Orengo (then MP for Ugenya), Oburu Oginga (Bondo), Sammy Weya (Alego/Usonga MP), and Raphael Tuju (Rarieda) and Midiwo (then as now representing Gem). Mr Midiwo claimed that none of the MPs attended the meeting except himself. “I remember the DDC meeting was to be held on Friday, and I was the only elected MP who turned up,” he said, claiming the rest turned Dominion into a money making racket.
The MP, who was speaking at Gendro Secondary School in Alego/Usonga, claimed that Dominion Farms had given the locals a raw deal by encroaching on pieces of land that could have otherwise benefitted those living along the swamp. He warned that unless the elected leaders from Siaya County met and reviewed the memorandum of understanding signed between the farm and the defunct Siaya County Council, Dominion will find it rough operating “illegally” along Yala Swamp.
Midiwo said his concerns were for the good of the people including encouraging more potential investors in the region. He was accompanied by Siaya County governor aspirant William Oduol and the area MCA Leonard Oriaro among others.
Midiwo a few weeks ago accused Siaya governor Cornel Rasanga of illegally leasing more than 6,000 acres of Yala Swamp to an Indian investor, Godavari. He claimed that Rasanga unilaterally leased out the land to the investor without following due procedures including initiating public participation.