Narok County Commissioner Mr. Samuel Kimiti has urged Lands officials in Nairobi to speed up the processing of title deeds for particular sections in the troubled Nkararu Transmara West to bring a lasting peace in the area.
Speaking in his office Thursday, Mr. Kimiti said land surveyors had already done their work on the ground and drawn boundaries and what remained was the processing and issuance of title-deeds in Nairobi.
The two Maasai clans of Eruasin-Gishu and Siria have had a long standing dispute over land boundary between them that has left many people dead, property destroyed and scores of people injured.
But in August last year, the two warring factions finally agreed to solve a long standing boundary dispute in the area to end the conflict.
Local leaders among both parties had previously agreed that proper boundaries be set up to clearly distinguish the land owned by one clan from that owned by the other to resolve the dispute.
A surveyor was then sent to the area to demarcate the boundary but the move was apparently met with opposition from one side of the two factions over the exact position of the boundary.
The disputing faction has since moved to court and fresh flares –ups continued in the area forcing the administration to impose a curfew and order the residents to surrender all illegal firearms and weapons in their possession.
Kimiti said that this special curfew might remain in force for a while longer even when the national curfew to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the country is lifted as the curfew had brought a ray of hope as the residents of Nkararu had started to enjoy some peace after months of inter-clan fighting.
He said that the government was not going to abate the 4:00 pm to 7:00 am curfew anytime soon as it has helped in restoring peace within the area.
“We found out that the warring clans have been attacking each during the time between 4:00 pm to 7:00am and the curfew covering those hours has helped to restore order and peace,” Kimiti said.
The curfew has been running alongside the 30-day 9:00 pm to 4:00 am nationwide curfew imposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country which the government extended for another 30 days on Monday this week.
Kimiti said the area is now enjoying some relative calm for months now which could be attributed to a disarmament exercise carried out since last year where the total number of assorted firearms recovered now stands at 40 with over 80 rounds of ammunitions.
He said that so far, they have recovered a total of 6,000 bows and arrows surrendered by the two warring communities that have been fighting over land amidst other factors such as rustling.
On the eve of Good Friday, in April this year, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya visited the Nkararo area in Transmara West and announced an extension of the curfew hours that has been imposed on Nkararu area from 4:00 pm to 7:00 am instead of the 7:00 pm to 5:00 am as the case was with the national curfew in the rest of the country.
The government has also set up a 24-hour helpline to help security forces to respond quickly to any call of distress and set up a General Service Unit (GSU) camp to help curb insecurity at the clash area.
The GSU camp has been set up at Enoororet- Nkararo border in Transmara West where the Uasin-Gishu and Siria clans have been fighting over a land boundary for over 40 years leading to the deaths of many people including a local chief.
Trans Mara area has vast rich soil in addition to adequate rainfall where sugarcane, maize, beans and other cash crops do well and there is gold mining activity in some areas which makes land an emotive issue.
By Mabel Keya-Shikuku