More than 100 livestock have been stolen from some members of two communities living along the Kiambu and Kajiado border within Ndeiya area in recent months, resulting in deaths and destruction of property.
Chairing a peace meeting at the Bomas of Kenya on Tuesday, the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner (RC), George Natembeya urged Maasai and Kikuyu elders to work together and prevent the escalating tension between the two communities.
“Elders are key in de-escalating this situation as they have done so before, when they signed an accord in 1942 stating that the two communities would dialogue before taking arms against each other,” Natembeya said.
This comes after an incident where livestock was stolen from Kajiado over the weekend in what was seen as a retaliation by the Kikuyu community due to constant theft of their animals.
In attendance was the Central RC, Wilfred Nyagwanga and several politicians from the two feuding communities, including Kajiado Governor, Joseph Ole Lenku, Kajiado North MP, Joseph Manje, Kiambu Governor, James Nyoro, Kikuyu MP, Kimani Ichung’wah and other county administrators.
Both governors discouraged any form of incitement from political leaders and urged the security apparatus to step up and effectively provide safety in the affected areas.
“The police should be more vigilant and provide security while chiefs and elders should work together in sorting inter-community disputes to prevent violence, destruction of property and deaths,” said Lenku.
Recently, a young man lost his life due to the raging scuffle between the two communities over livestock.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Commissioner, Adan Mohammed urged the two communities to peacefully resolve thorny issues, while they are still manageable, before they get out of hand as had been witnessed in other parts of the country.
“We have parts of the country with serious issues over boundary disputes that have resulted in deaths and constant fights,” the cohesion commissioner regretted.
Justus Ole Manyara, one of the elders present, urged the police to work with locals in tracking stolen livestock.
“We need the county administration to work together with us in case such an incident re-occurs as we track the stolen livestock on foot. We do so by following their footprints and in most cases without any assistance from the county administration,” he noted.
His sentiments were echoed by various elders present with Natembeya assuring them of his full support, stating that they were deploying the Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) in the affected areas to reinforce the police in restoring normalcy.
The Kikuyu MP encouraged the two communities to take their children to school, stating that education was key in curbing cattle rustling.
“Our children need to be taken to school as most of the cattle rustlers are people who still follow the traditions and norms of the past. We should empower them by giving them education,” reiterated Ichung’wa.
By Andy Morgan/Anne Mwangemi