Nkaissery says state has no plans to buy land for herders
‘Any herder, who will not have moved his livestock by Monday, will have his animals confiscated and sold by the government. Only those with agreements will be spared’
The national government has no plans of resettling immigrant herders in its lands or buy private ranches in Laikipia county for them, Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery has said.
He dismissed rumours by some politicians that the government wanted to resettle herders on the ADC Mutara Farm and in private ranches.
Speaking at the Catholic Hall in Rumuruti town on Friday, the CS directed herders to vacate private farms in Laikipia immediately, as a disarmament exercise that had been stopped will resume. “Any herder who will not have moved his livestock by Monday [today], will have his animals confiscated and sold by the government. Only those with written agreements with landowners will be spared,” Nkaissery said.
He said all immigrant herders from Samburu, Baringo and Isiolo counties, who have been illegally grazing on private ranches, should pack and go.
The CS said the government is aware the insecurity that has hit the county in the recent past is not pasture-related, but a well-calculated move to evict some communities from the region. The insecurity has left six people dead, several nursing gunshot wounds and hundreds of animals stolen.
The CS also directed a resumption of an operation to mop up all illegal firearms that had started but was later stopped. This did not go down well with nominated Senator Naisula Lesuuda and Samburu woman representative Maison Leshoomo, who were present. They urged the CS to let the leaders first talk with their communities before the disarmament resumes.
However, residents booed and shouted Lesuuda down.
Laikipia leaders said that Laikipia is not a colony of Samburu and they would not allow immigrants to dictate how the county will be run.
Laikipia West MP Wachira Karani said there is no way they would allow criminals to terrorise residents and urged the two leaders from Samburu to respect the will of Laikipia residents.
Nominated MP Sarah Korere said most animals being grazed in Laikipia belong to senior people from Samburu.
Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel was absent. He has been accused of working with Samburu MPs to stop the disarmament drive and was frequently mentioned in connection with the chaos that has marred the county.
Laikipia East MP Mutahi Kimaru, woman representative Jane Apollos, Senator GG Kariuki and Governor Joshua Irungu attended the meeting.