Morans in Narok County have been warned against hiding behind the Maa culture to cause havoc in the region.
The Narok County Police Commander, Thomas Ngeiwa said cases of morans threatening residents especially traders to give them money had increased and warned the culprits that the government would not sit down and watch as young people caused mayhem in the peaceful county.
“Yes we respect the Maasai culture which moranism is part of, but we will not allow them to harass other innocent people living in the county,” he told KNA on Tuesday.
Ngeiwa cited a recent episode where a group of morans harassed traders in Enabelel trading centre and raped a middle aged woman over the weekend.
“No one is above the law in Kenya. As we respect your culture, you should also respect the rights of everyone living with you because people have a right of living anywhere in Kenya,” he said.
The police boss asked the community elders to direct the morans on how they should live and relate with different ethnic people in the area.
“Narok town is on the highway that connects to many other counties, hence it hosts people of different cultures. The morans should therefore learn to respect all people to promote peace,” he said.
This is not the first time morans have caused havoc in the county. During last August holiday, a number of cases were reported where morans harassed business people before stealing goods from their business premises.
At one time, seven morans were arrested in Narok town after stealing mobile phones, torches, shoes, clothes and solar panels.
However, the police were forced to release them after leaders from the Maa community invaded the police station and demanded for their freedom, saying moranism is part of their culture.
Led by the Narok Chamber of Commerce and Industries Chairman, David Mpatiany, the leaders said then that it was a taboo to arrest morans and even if there was need to do so, the police should engage the community elders who were allowed to punish them appropriately.
“The spear and rungu on the moran hand are sacred and should not be taken from them by any individual, including the police,” he said.
Morans are Maasai young men who abandon their homes and live in the forest or bushes where they train on how to protect the society. While in their training grounds, they feed on wild fruits and animals.
During this period, the young men do not wear ordinary clothes but instead put on a Maasai shuka to differentiate them from the rest of the community members.
They are well respected and when they enter in a certain homestead, the elder in the respective home should slaughter a fat animal for them.
By Ann Salaton