A section of Narok leaders want the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) to help in resolving historical land injustices, dominant among the pastoralist communities.
The leaders who spoke during the burial of Narok branch ODM chairman late Charles Nampaso at Mara ward in Narok West Sub County Saturday, vowed not to support a document that do not help in tackling critical issues that have been a thorn in the fresh among their people.
Emurrua Dikirr Member of Parliament Johannah Ngeno said the key issue that BBI should look into is the Maasai Mau forest land where over 3300 families were evicted in the last two years, despite most of them having land documents to prove they officially owned the land.
He observed that politicians have been taking advantage of the vulnerable people living in the forest to vote for them promising to protect them to continue live in the forest.
“We want BBI to help us resolve the Maasai Mau forest once and for all because this issue has sharply divide our community. One community feels threatened while another community felt favoured by the eviction, hence bringing tension among the two domineering communities that have lived together for years,” said Ngeno.
On the Maasai Mara Game reserve revenue, Ngeno observed that though the community had donated a huge piece of land for the wildlife, the benefits were not trickling down to the residents who lived and protected the animals.
“We want the BBI to look into the revenue generated at the Maasai Mara game reserve. Who benefits from the revenue since the community despite living with the animals get very little return for their effort,” reiterated Ngeno.
His sentiments were echoed by Narok North Member of Parliament Moitalel Ole Kenta who said among the key issues they will raise during the regional BBI forum is the land related problems that is rampant in the community.
“We want the Rift Valley region BBI forum to be held in Maasai land since the community has been marginalized despite having numerous resources in their land. The Maasai community in Laikipia, Kajiado, Nakuru and Narok counties have similar problems,” said Ole Kenta.
Nominated Member of Parliament representing Persons Living with Disability David Ole Sankok asked residents to read the BBI document in a bid to contribute to it fruitfully by raising key issues that they would want included in the document.
“We will support the document because we believe it will enhance National Cohesion and integrations, however, it is important for everyone to read the document to understand what it contains,” said Ole Sankok.
ODM national secretary Edwin Sifuna who represented the party leader Raila Odinga asked the residents to air their views on what they wish included in the document to their leaders, who will then represent them in a regional forum that is expected to be held in Suswa Grounds.
“The Nyanza region forum held in Kisii was very successful as the leaders raised key issues affecting the residents that when resolved will see them grow economically. We encourage all leaders to attend the forum at Suswa to give their views as they are the peoples’ representatives,” added Sifuna.
Other leaders who attended the burial included Narok Senator Ledama Ole Kina, Narok Women Representative Soipan Tuya, Interior Chief Administrative Secretary Patrick Ntutu, Narok West Member of Parliament Gabriel Togoyo and Devolution Principal Secretary Charles Sunkuli.
The late Nampaso succumbed to pneumonia on December 31, 2019 at the age of 50 years. He is survived by two widows and eight children.
By Ann Salaton