IDPs

Shifta War victims in Lamu demand payout for '60s atrocities

State agents raped women and tortured men during an operation allegedly to quell an insurgency

In Summary

• State agents raped women and tortured men during an operation allegedly to quell an insurgency, forcing them to escape to safe areas.

• The victims want to return to their ancestral homes and leave their current abodes in Malindi, Ngomeni, Watamu, Kilifi, Takaungu Mnarani, Mombasa, Kwale. Others fled into Tanzania

A group of families that fled their homes in Lamu during the 1960s Shifta War and resettled in now Kilifi, Mombasa and Kwale counties want government compensation. 

State agents raped women and tortured men during an operation allegedly to quell an insurgency, forcing them to escape to safe areas.

The victims want to return to their ancestral homes and leave their current abodes in Malindi, Ngomeni, Watamu, Kilifi, Takaungu Mnarani, Mombasa, Kwale. Others fled into Tanzania. 

Through the Simambae Welfare Association, they say life has been miserable as they were forced to live as foreigners with no land.

Some were farmers and fishermen but had to take up other livelihood activities for survival. 

Among the victims was Lamu Woman Rep Ruweida Mohamed family. Her mother is from Mvundeni and was displaced by the Shiftas. They relocated to Mombasa in the 1960s.

Ruweida said they have suffered for many years and deserve compensation. She spoke during the launch of the association at Mwinyi Baba Hall in Shella Malindi town.

“When we come to government allocation it is low due to the small population which remained behind but we are few in Malindi. We are so many here we have IDPs from Simambae, their father was from Rubu, others have families in Mvundeni,” she said.

She said it's time all the IDPs who were displaced during the Shifta War come out in public so that the data is recorded.

Lamu Woman Rep Ruweda Mohamed with some of the IDPs during the launch of the Simambae Welfare Association at Mwinyi Baba Hall in Shella Malindi town
Lamu Woman Rep Ruweda Mohamed with some of the IDPs during the launch of the Simambae Welfare Association at Mwinyi Baba Hall in Shella Malindi town
Image: ALPHONCE GARI

The legislator said there are about 12 villages that were affected by the Shifta War and those remaining are Kiunga and Mkokoni.

She said the compensation should be addressed before the term of President Uhuru Kenyatta ends. 

Ruweida said there are graves, wells, buildings and other evidence that show the families lived in the areas they cite. 

Mushamu Athman from Simambae was born in 1963. He said they fled the Island while still young and lived in Manda Island. The family then moved to Ngomeni and Malindi where they stay to date.

“I am sad in my heart because I am living in a foreign land and cannot go to my homeland, where I was born. During celebrations like Idd, I like to go back there but it's impossible and I am suffering,” he said.

Athman said the government should ensure they compensate them. 

He said they are collecting data on how many they are though they believe they are in hundreds of thousands.

Abdulahi Bwana Ahmed was born in 1961 in Simambae. He said during the war, they fled with their parents to Malindi.

Ahmed said recent IDPs have been compensated but they are yet to be compensated. He said there were people displaced in Ishakani, Mabore, Rubu, Simambae, Mvundeni Shuei, Matroni, Mkokoni, Mararani and Bodhei.