MP MATHEW LEMPURKEL: END­LESSLY CON­TRO­VER­SIAL

Those close to the MP say he is keen to emerge as the undis­puted king of the Sam­buru peo­ple, es­pe­cially in Laikipia. He thus has put into mo­tion schemes that would see him emerge as the pre­em­i­nent de­fender of the rights of in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, the same

The Star (Kenya) - - Front Page - IBRAHIM ORUKO @orukoi

THERE was lit­tle sur­prise when Mathew Lempurkel, the Laikipia North MP, was ar­rested on Tues­day and ar­raigned in court for pub­lic dis­tur­bance.

Those who have fol­lowed the po­lit­i­cal ca­reer of the first term MP know that he is no stranger to pub­lic al­ter­ca­tions.

The first time the Laikipia North MP brought him­self to na­tional at­ten­tion was in 2014.

That was when he was thrown out of a Europe-bound Emi­rates Air­line plane.

The then lit­tle known MP had de­manded to be served his beer of choice even be­fore the plane lifted off.

“Other pas­sen­gers had boarded but we had to wait for him to board. He came in drunk and de­manded to be served with a lo­cal beer,” one news­pa­per re­ported.

The air­line crews in­sis­tence that they could only serve al­co­hol when the plane was air­borne fell on deaf ears.

“The pi­lot de­clared he would not fly a rogue pas­sen­ger and the MP was thrown out.”

The news would thrust the pre­vi­ously un­known MP into the na­tional lime­light, 2nd, there­after, his life has been char­ac­ter­ized by one con­tro­versy af­ter an­other.

Lempurkel’s po­lit­i­cal pro­file has in re­cent days been on the rise.

He has emerged as a fighter for the rights of the groups that feel that they are dis­re­garded by a re­port­edly pow­er­ful clique of ranch­ers who own large tracts of land in the larger Laikipia county.

Those close to the MP say he is keen to emerge as the undis­puted king of the Sam­buru peo­ple, es­pe­cially in Laikipia. He thus has put into mo­tion schemes that would see him emerge as the pre­em­i­nent de­fender of the rights of in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties, the same way the late Wil­liam Nti­mama rose to promi­nence as the de­fender of Maa­sai land rights.

In 2003, Lempurkel, led mem­bers of his Sam­buru com­mu­nity in in­vad­ing the larger ranches in the county.

The in­va­sion was al­legedly based on a treaty the Maa­sai signed with the Bri­tish colo­nial gov­ern­ment in 1904, which gave the colo­nial power a 100-year lease on their an­ces­tral lands.

To jus­tify the in­va­sion, Lempurkel ar­gued the colo­nial agree­ments had ex­pired af­ter 99 years.

How­ever, his crit­ics see him as the clas­sic po­lit­i­cal schemer who is in­clined to abuse the power he wields as an elected rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Apart from be­ing taken off planes, he has now been ac­cused of as­sault­ing women. Be­fore his lat­est in­famy, that has dragged him to the courts, the MP had made head­lines when he was in­volved in pub­lic al­ter­ca­tion with Nom­i­nated Mp Sarah Korere over a mi­cro­phone.

The Laikipia North MP had ar­rived at a fundraiser or­gan­ised by the Nom­i­nated MP and pro­ceded to wres­tle the mi­cro­phone from her.

Lempurkel was un­happy that the meet­ing had been or­gan­ised be­hind his back and that the or­gan­is­ers had failed to recog­nise him as the duly elected MP.

The MP would later be in­volved in an­other pub­lic spat, when he slapped a petrol ser­vice sta­tion at­ten­dant. He also had an­other brawl — in a pub in Mom­basa.

Last year, he got into trou­ble with some of his con­stituents when he at­tempted to serve a court or­der on ad­min­is­tra­tors of an NGO in the area.

The MP had gone to serve of­fi­cers at Ndugu Zan­guni Chris­tian com­mu­nity with court or­ders when the com­mu­nity had at­tacked him with stones, and sub­se­quently pre­vented him from leav­ing.

Ndungu Zan­guni is the NGO he pre­vi­ously worked for, but left in un­clear cir­cum­stances.

He holds a Bach­e­lors de­gree from a Tan­za­nia-based aca­demic in­sti­tu­tion.

Vladimir Putin Rus­sian Pres­i­dent

For more Po­lit­i­cal Pro­file sto­ries, scan the QR code above.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kenya

© PressReader. All rights reserved.