Yesterday social media was awash with images of kids being teargassed by Kenya Police Force. This was when the pupils of L’angata Road Primary School had decided to march peacefully and protest against the fencing of their playground. Truth be told the land had been sold, there were plans of building a hotel and it was linked to a top government official who came out to dispute the allegations. Perhaps we need to understand the tragedy of land grabbing in Kenya, not long time ago there was Karen land grabbing. The stand off between Lands Cabinet Secretary and Land Commission was at the height of this fight last year. Critics say the JUBILEE government has allowed land grabbers to thrive and a record number of leases have been renewed including the one for the Kenyatta family. So when I saw these images, ofcourse I understood the young souls resolve, and fight for their rights. Unknown to them, they might have been fighting for a right to play(which is essential in growth and development).
But they made a mark, yes the tear gassing was horrible but like revolutionaries they appealed to our softsides. There is no leader who would let this pass without heads rolling and revisiting that land deal. The president, Cabinet Secretary of Lands, Cabinet Secretary of Interior Affairs all issued statements and the land is back to where it belongs.
When a society is fed up with impunity, it is pushed to all manners of activism. Iam sure the Headmaster, teachers knew that by bringing out these kids they will make a statement and indeed they did.
Thence I ask how have we dealt with land grabbing in Uganda, when lawful means fail what next for us? Alot of public land has been grabbed, we have an outdated lands registry, a very ambigious landuse policy. Our keeping quiet while all this theft occurs is betraying the country and protesting is not hooliganism. I dare say hooliganism is also an ommission to act, when we let things go wrong in our management there is no greater hooliganism. Those kids have set a standard and precedent, lets make our society better for future generations it starts with you.