Why Narok residents have been sitting on powder keg for years
All leaders and administrators in Olekurto are drawn from one community, brewing tension
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.