Why Narok res­i­dents have been sit­ting on pow­der keg for years

All lead­ers and ad­min­is­tra­tors in Olekurto are drawn from one com­mu­nity, brew­ing ten­sion

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - NATIONAL NEWS - BY VI­TALIS KIMUTAI

neny­onn@gmail.com

Fail­ure by the gov­ern­ment to es­tab­lish more ad­min­is­tra­tive units in Olekurto di­vi­sion in line with pre­vi­ous res­o­lu­tions by res­i­dents has been blamed for the peren­nial clashes at Ol­posi­moru in Narok County.

Res­i­dents said de­spite the area be­ing cos­mopoli­tan, ad­min­is­tra­tors and lead­ers are drawn from one com­mu­nity in a sit­u­a­tion that causes ten­sion and sus­pi­cion among lo­cals when­ever a dis­pute arises.

In 2015, for­mer In­te­rior min­is­ter Joseph Nkaissery (now de­ceased) and En­ergy Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Charles Keter an­nounced dur­ing a peace meet­ing after clashes broke out that the gov­ern­ment would es­tab­lish more lo­ca­tions and sub-lo­ca­tions in the area.

The two min­is­ters said the gov­ern­ment would im­ple­ment the res­o­lu­tions ar­rived at fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tions be­tween elected lead­ers, el­ders, clergy, ad­min­is­tra­tors and res­i­dents.

“It was agreed that po­lice posts would be es­tab­lished in the area and ad­min­is­tra­tive units es­tab­lished to take services closer to the peo­ple.

“The gov­ern­ment should im­ple­ment the res­o­lu­tions of 2015 in full in or­der to curb out­break of clashes in fu­ture,” Mr Wil­son Masikonte, a for­mer Mem­ber of County As­sem­bly said.

Mr Masikonte said: "The ad­min­is­tra­tive units are too vast on both sides, thus the need to fur­ther break them down for ease of im­ple­men­ta­tion of gov­ern­ment pro­grammes and di­rec­tives. The his­tor­i­cal is­sues would also have been sorted through those sys­tems.”

Ad­min­is­tra­tive sub-lo­ca­tions at Ol­posi­moru ward are Ol­posi­moru, Ol­mariko, Oleng’ape, Olo­lon­goi, Ilikani, Ka­mu­rar and Nkokolani.

Ol­mariko lo­ca­tion was to be split into Ol­mariko and Olana­muka sub-lo­ca­tions in a move meant to ac­com­mo­date mem­bers of the Kip­sigis com­mu­nity who feel left out in ad­min­is­tra­tion and ad­dress the fact that the unit is too vast for one ad­min­is­tra­tor to run.

Ol­posi­moru lo­ca­tion was to be fur­ther split in the pro­posed changes en­dorsed by both com­mu­ni­ties.

A for­mer long serv­ing Nakuru County Coun­cil chair­man Bidii arap Too do­nated two acres to the gov­ern­ment to set up a po­lice post and ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices at Te­gat vil­lage while an­other el­der, Mr Jonathan Rono, do­nated one acre two years ago.

Al­though can­di­dates were in­ter­viewed by the In­te­rior min­istry to fill the po­si­tions of chiefs and their as­sis­tants al­most two years ago, the po­si­tions have not been filled.

Narok County Com­mis­sioner Ge­orge Natem­beya, while ad­mit­ting that more ad­min­is­tra­tive units had been mapped out in Narok South and Narok North, said the po­si­tions were yet to be filled.

“The gov­ern­ment will post chiefs and their as­sis­tants to fill the po­si­tions once money is avail­able. We be­lieve that the move would help in curb­ing ten­sion and vi­o­lence be­tween the com­mu­ni­ties caused by var­i­ous rea­sons,” Mr Natem­beya said at Ololoipangi Pri­mary School in Narok South.

Mr Natem­beya, how­ever, said enough se­cu­rity of­fi­cers had been de­ployed to the con­flict-prone re­gions in the county.

Area lead­ers have come un­der crit­i­cism for fail­ing to unite the com­mu­ni­ties when­ever there is a con­flict.

“The gov­ern­ment has so far not made use of the do­nated land, which is ly­ing idle. It is im­por­tant, in the wake of the clashes, for the gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment the res­o­lu­tions and en­sure ad­min­is­tra­tors and po­lice are de­ployed to af­fected zones,” said Mr Richard Ki­malel, a vil­lage el­der.

“Claims that cat­tle rustling is the main cause of the re­cur­rent clashes is mis­lead­ing. The truth of the mat­ter that the main is­sues trig­ger­ing the vi­o­lence re­lates to land own­er­ship and pol­i­tics. The only so­lu­tion is to have more ad­min­is­tra­tive units in the area,” said Ms Irene Tongo, a res­i­dent of En­tiyani vil­lage.

Narok North MP Moitalel Ole Kenta and mem­bers of the county as­sem­bly from the area have not held peace meet­ings to bring to­gether the two com­mu­ni­ties.

Rift Val­ley Re­gional Co­or­di­na­tor Mongo Chimwanga re­cently or­dered a dusk-to-dawn cur­few in a bid to quell the vi­o­lence which has led to the killing of one per­son, dis­place­ment of hun­dreds of res­i­dents, torch­ing of houses and shops.

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