Kaparo, MP blame each other in Laikipia clashes
NCIC chairperson, residents say legislator is fuelling the conflict, but Lempurkel says Kaparo is biased as he has interest in the war
National Cohesion and Integration chairman Francis Kaparo cannot negotiate peace because he is “biased, partisan and has interests” in the dispute between pastoralists and ranch owners in Laikipia, an MP has said.
Laikipia is home to the Turkana, Pokot, Kikuyu, Maasai and Samburu.
Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel said Kaparo owns a ranch in the county.
Some residents had accused Lempurkel of fuelling the conflict, but he turned around and blamed Kaparo.
But Kaparo in turn blamed the MP for the mess.
“He is the author of the problem. This local MP has no moral authority to comment on issues touching on se- curity,” he told the Star on the phone.
Kaparo said he will be happy if “the MP comes up with a solution instead of being part of the problem”.
He said he has intervened fairly in conflicts countrywide and has done the same in Laikipia.
Lempurkel wanted disarmament in Laikipia stopped to give elders from warring communities an opportunity to find a lasting solution.
He has written to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, requesting to discuss the ongoing disarmament in his constituency in the House.
“The issue is getting out of hand as the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government is seemingly unable to deal with it,” the legislator said.
A resident said, “Why would an MP try to stop an operation to disarm criminals?”
The resident told the Star that it is a trend in Laikipia for ethnic warlords to politicise law enforcement.
Lempurkel had also alleged that police officers are further fuelling the conflict.
“Police have been involved in acts of stealing livestock that have seen 15 bulls and 200 goats stolen,” the MP said on the phone.
Lempurkel also said police are harassing residents, raping women and girls, burning houses and locking up innocent protesting youths without just cause.
Senator GG Kariuki on Wednesday said five people have been killed this week.
County commissioner Chege Mwangi said four people have died. But residents say 10 people have been killed.
Tourism players yesterday asked the government to resolve the conflict as it could hurt the sector.
National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairman Francis Kaparo before the Joint Committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunity in Parliament on October 6