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 Tana River politicians warned against incitement

Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata has warned politicians inciting residents to cause violence in Tana River County that they will face the full force of the law.

            Elungata said those fueling animosity and tension in the county for land, political or other reasons would be met by decisive response from the security agencies.

             “The politicians who incite the locals against each other would not be spared regardless of their positions,” he warned Wednesday, when he addressed a meeting of area elders at Minjila.

            The peace meeting was attended by elders from Orma, Pokomo, Wardei, Wailuana, Mywoyaya and Watta among other communities in the county.

            Elungata cited the recent flareup in Madogo area which was quelled by security apparatus after alleged incitement among local communities.

            “I recently toured the Madogo area and established that the animosity and tension among the communities was as a result of incitement,” he said.

            The Regional commissioner said constant violence in that area has led to loss of lives and property, warning that those found culpable would be dealt with accordingly.

            Elungata blamed the frequent conflicts on lack of mutual respect and understanding between farmers and pastoralists saying both groups should desist from antagonizing each other.

            He said migratory herders from the North Eastern region must seek permission from elders in the area to graze as directed by the Water and Pasture Committee.

            The regional commissioner urged communities living in the area to uphold a peace deal that was brokered last year during a meeting that brought together elders from all the communities.

            At the same time, Elungata told local residents to report any suspicious person or activities saying some foreigners were caught with crude weapons in the south Coast after they passed through Minjila.

            “We need information so we take prompt action against those with ulterior motives,” said the Regional Commissioner.

            Speaking at the meeting, a local Pastor Ezekiel Zita said area politicians were to blame for fueling tensions so as to displace a certain group of voters ahead of the forthcoming elections.

            “Some politicians want to displace voters perceived to be opposed to them. Violence has undermined development and led to poverty in this region,” added Pastor Zita.

            Meanwhile, in 2012 skirmishes between farmers and livestock keepers in the Tana Delta claimed more than 100 people and displaced hundreds of families.

by Mohamed Hassan

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