Lamu County with a population of 101,539 remains the county that bears most historical injustices according to human rights defenders reports.
Locals have for a long time cry for justice, however the county has been deemed to be out of government plans.
Even with the devolution Lamu residents still grapple with daily evictions from their native pieces of Land.
Right from Witu, Hindi, Mokowe, Lamu Island the narrative is the same, painful.
Land grabbing, police harassment, poor health services, poor leadership, discrimination in employment opportunities among other various inhuman acts against locals.
A local, Halima Arafat from Hindi, Lamu West shade tears before the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Hajj and Haki Africa team led by the Executive Director Hussein Khalid as she narrated how she was evicted from her 11 acre piece of land to pave way for the construction of Lamu port.
Ms Arafat says though people were compensated the genuine land owners received nothing.
“This is completely unbelievable for Mr. Hajj to visit us here, we are suffering and hope you will help us get justice,” said Ms Arafat.
The situation is the same at Mpeketoni where local belittle police harassment while executing their daily activities.
Gross human rights violation
Peter Mwangi, a taxi driver painfully narrated how police stopped him while he was heading to Mpeketoni, beating him up claiming he was ferrying Al-shabab to Mpeketoni, claims that later the security agents never substantiated.
“Police are our biggest enemy, they violate our rights, harassing us and colluding with land grabbers to evict us from our land, we are suffering,” he painfully disclosed.
[From Left; Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid, AG Paul Kihara Kariuki and DPP Noordin Hajj. Photo/Pauline Kwamboka].
However, Lamu County Police commandant Muchangi Kioi denied that police were behind the inhumane acts.
He said locals have all rights to seek justice from higher authorities in case they feel oppressed.
Social Justice Centre
During the launch of the Lamu social justice centre at Mkunguni, in Lamu Island, Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid said the human rights organisation received overwhelming gross human rights violation cases prompting the organisation to open a social justice centre to help Lamu locals access justice.
While addressing locals at Mkunguni, Lamu Island early this year, Mr. Khalid said Lamu residents were on their own suffering and without anyone to turn to.
“Lamu residents have suffered perennial land evictions, police harassment and arrest without proper explanation from security agencies, poor health and other basic services, discriminatory leadership among many gross human rights violation,” divulged Mr. Khalid.
[Attorney General Professor Paul Kihara Kariuki (L) with DPP Noordin Hajj during the launching of Lamu Social Justice Centre. Photo/Pauline Kwamboka].
He said the human rights lobby is closely working with the office of the Attorney General and DPP Noordin Hajj to ensure justice prevails.
“Lamu county is part of the country and development projects such as the LAPSSET project constructed at Kilinana area in Lamu West should never lead to eviction but uplift the living standards of locals,” noted the Human rights defender.
On his part, DPP Noordin Hajj admitted that 80% of the historical injustices in Lamu County revolve around land conflicts.
“I have traversed almost all parts of this County and the cry is about eviction and police harassment, I am assuring you I will be back soon with course of action,” he assured the desperate Lamu dwellers.
He said Lamu residents have suffered for long and their search for justice has finally come to an end.
He appealed for unison and close working relation between Haki Africa, his office, the AG and locals to fight for justice.
“I was given this opportunity to serve the community without fear, favour or discrimination, I want to ensure the oppressors and put behind bars,” he assured Lamu residents.