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Elders warn parents not to allow their sons be circumcised on ‘cursed’ land

A  section of Kalenjin elders from Uasin Gishu County have advised parents not to allow their sons to be circumcised at the controversial 570 acre Emo farm in Sergoit claiming it has been cursed.

The more than 300 elders said aggrieved members of Emo Investment Limited, most of them now elderly, placed a curse on the controversial land and it would not be wise for parents to allow their sons to undergo the traditional rite of passage within the farm this December.

The  elders, who demonstrated at the Sirgoit Farm in Uasin Gishu County are against the planned circumcision exercise that is held annually by the management of Emo Investment, warning that using the land for the revered ceremony before cleansing it can be detrimental and can cause harm to the innocent initiates.

The elders, a splinter group from the Emo Investment Limited said they decided to place a curse on the farm after the management short changed them on their investment.

They alleged that the investment has been mismanagement with all proceeds from the land utilization benefitting a few individuals.

We contributed to purchase the farm in 2006 and its purpose was to benefit all members, but for the last 15 years only a few individuals have been leasing it out to private investors and pocketing the proceeds,” they lamented.

Led by Julius Kibet Murei, Luca Cherop, Ambrose Arap Rono and Thomas Kemboi the elders alleged that there were plans to sell part of the land to three churches without the consent of all members and they vowed to oppose the plans by all means possible.

The elders also accused Kalenjin leaders of not intervening to find solutions noting that, “For the last 15 years we have been complaining of mismanagement of shareholders’ funds and frustration by Emo Investment Limited directors, yet not a single leader from the our community has come out boldly to intervene, as many of the members continue to die of old age still fighting to have their money refunded.”

They  now  want President Uhuru Kenyatta and Land Cabinet Secretary (CS), Farida Karoney to intervene to help get justice for members.

They  also complained that they have been denied access to farm the land, accusing the directors and leasers of using the police to harass and torture them whenever they try to visit the farm.

A total of Sh.112 million was collected by shareholders to buy the piece of land in 2006 in an initiative by Emo group to empower the community. The land was owned by a white settler who was willing to sell it to members of the neighbouring community at an affordable price.

“We sold our properties to raise funds that we used to buy between Sh.20, 000 and Sh.100,000, only for some seven directors to lease the same land to private farmers while denying rightful shareholders the right to till it or even give dividends the entire 15 years,” complained the elders.

“The director of criminal investigations should make public a report of investigation that began a year ago on the mismanagement of Emo Investment Limited funds and the land,” they added.

However, the directors of the company have continuously denied the accusations insisting that there were no plans to sell any part of the land.

By  Kiptanui Cherono

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