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

The Star (Kenya) - - News General - GIL­BERT KOECH @KoechJu­nior_1

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

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