Maasai leaders want NLC to investigate lost ancestral land

Maasai leaders want the National Land Commission to investigate how the community lost its ancestral land before and after independence. They have also demanded an apology from the British Government for injustices the community suffered during the colonial period, and that all the land that was wrongly allocated be returned.

Orkila Orok, the Maasai council of elders, claims the community lost more than 1.5 million acres over the years, hence should be compensated. The elders, who addressed a news conference in Narok Town on Tuesday, said reparation, restitution, and compensation should start with a review of the Maasai Land Agreements of 1904 and 1911, whose 100-year leases expired in 2004 and 2011. The council’s chairman, Mr Kasaine ole Esho, said some of the land was still in the hands of foreign companies, multinationals and remnants of colonial settlers who are engaged in commercial agriculture. ntimama pic

He said colonialists and post-independence administrations took advantage of Maasais’ nomadic lifestyle to alienate their land. Among the land they want returned are the 30,000-acre pieces in Mau Narok given to former ministers Simeon Nyachae, Mr Mbiu Koinange, Katumbe farm and Rose farms. Others are the big chunks of lands in Naivasha among them Kedong ranch, Lord Dalamere and others in Laikipia under Britons.

Former cabinet Minister William ole Ntimama said all the leases on land considered to belong to the Maasai to be revised with a view of giving the land back to the community. He accused successive Government of extending the leases. The former Narok North MP said the community leaders would not rest until their rights were respected.

“We have continued to be viewed as aggressors in our own land. "The Government should change its perception and give us our land as a measure towards addressing historical injustices,” added Mr Ntimama. They called on elected leaders in the county led by Governor Samuel ole Tunai to move to the International Court of Justice and demand for compensation for the injustices against the Maasai community.They further want the new land policy implemented to tackle the issue.

“The bulk of the land has since changed hands several times over — sold to Government and land buying companies — and recovering it may not be feasible” said Mr Esho. The community has for long tried to have land it owned before the entry of the British returned in vain. Five years ago Parliament adopted the Proposed National Land Policy, which proposes legal mechanisms to facilitate review and documentation of all historical land claims to determine forms of compensation, restitution and reparations.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Leaders urge govt to reopen Garissa University College

Non-governmental organisations and leaders from Garissa County have demanded for the reopening of the ill-fated Garissa University College that was attacked by Al-Shabaab militants four months ago. Garissa Governor Nathif Jama said by permanently closing the institution, the government was accepting defeat in the war against terror. He was speaking during celebrations to mark four months since the attack on the university. 148 people, most of them students, were killed in cold blood on April 2, 2015 of after Al-Shabaab attacked the only university in the region.

“The government must treat the root cause of this entire problem which is corruption which is also contributing to insecurity in the region. If the government doesn’t reopen the university it clearly shows that terrorists have beaten us which is totally unacceptable,” said Lagdera MP Mohamed Shidiye. He said that the government must reopen the university so as to send the message that Kenya remains strong despite the imminent threats noting that Al-Shabaab menace will soon be over. garissa University

FAULTED JUBILEE

The Garissa leaders at the same time faulted the Jubilee administration for what they said was ignoring the region during the hour of need claiming that the president and his deputy never visited the region despite numerous terrorist attacks that claimed many innocent lives. “We have seen the president at Westgate to prove to Kenyans that terrorism will not deter our way of doing things. He should show the same to Garissa University College,” said the Lagdera MP.

Governor Jama on his part said his county administration has set aside Sh200 million to help the National Government fight the runaway insecurity in his county which he said has been grounded economically since the second terrorist attack. “The responsibility of security is solely with the National Government and as the county administration we have shown our willingness to cooperate and help them where possible. “We demand the reopening if the university and adequate security to all institutions and government installations,” he said.

PRIDE OF NORTHERN REGION

The Garissa County chief said if the government will not officially reopen the university by January 2016, he will use the money allocated for security to reopen the only institution which was the pride of the entire northern region. Northern Advocacy Initiative in conjunction with the Queen of Hearts joined Garissa residents during an emotional ceremony to remember the students who lost their lives during the early morning April terrorist attack.

The founder of Queen of Hearts and renowned journalist Lolani Kalu told the Nation that they had been at the university for the last four days to show solidarity with people of the northern region. “We have spent the last four days in the university. “In fact we have been sleeping in the same hostels where students were mercilessly killed by terrorists.

“We know terrorism is a global issue and the government should not close this institution for fear of Al-Shabaab. Instead they should boost security,” he said. The commemoration was attended by Garissa Woman Representative Shukran Gure, Deputy Governor Abdullahi Hussein, the county assembly Speaker Mohamed Abey, and several members of the county assembly.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Isiolo MCA asks govt to engage pastoralists over illegal firearm registration

A leader from Isiolo County has asked the government to roll out civic education programmes after starting the initiative to register illegally acquired firearms across the country. Burat Ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) Paul Mero said this would ensure that pastoralists understand the importance of the process and cooperate with government. Mr Mero warned that the programme was likely not to succeed if the public was not actively engaged.

The programme, which was launched by Deputy President William Ruto in Turkana County, will regulate and monitor all registered firearms held by individuals. Mr Mero said pastoralist communities had begun arming themselves ahead of drought season. “Increased insecurity cases will only serve to undermine the gains brought by the Vision 2030 flagship projects being rolled out in Isiolo County. We must encourage communities to surrender illegal firearms before the realisation of the massive investments,” the ward representative said. Mr Mero reiterated that for faster development to be realised, communities in the county should embrace peaceful coexistence.

The government has warned of stern action against those who will not heed the directive to surrender all firearms in wrong hands. Those who surrender the guns for registration will remain with them and will be paid a maintenance fee by the Government besides being closely monitored so as not to engage in acts of violence.

Courtersy of Daily Nation

Isiolo herders ordered to remove livestock from Buffalo Spring Park

isiolo subcounty deputy commissionerHerders in Isiolo have been ordered to immediately remove their livestock from Buffalo Spring Park. Isiolo Sub-County Deputy Commissioner Julius Maiyo said the order is meant to prevent the livestock from interfering with tourists. He said the park management had indicated that tourists have already booked to be there from next week until December. Chiefs and their assistants from West, Ngaremara, Nakuprat and Attan locations have also been instructed to provide names of livestock owners who have invaded the designated area. Speaking during a meeting yesterday with Somali, Samburu and Turkana herders in Ngaremara Ward, Mr Maiyo asked rangers to arrest any herder trespassing into the park.

WATER, NOT PASTURE

Herders had earlier asked to be allowed to take their animals to the park for water and not pasture . “We cannot allow livestock to drink water in the park. Herders should look for other alternatives areas for water. "The park is only meant for wildlife,” said Mr Maiyo . He said the county government should find possible ways to provide water for the livestock. Mr Maiyo said the removal of livestock is meant to prevent conflict that might arise between the pastoralist communities in the park thus scaring away tourists. He said herders whose livestock will be found in the park that they will be prosecuted.

ABOUT PDNK

Pastoralist Development Network - of Kenya

We are an advocacy NGO established under a Trust deed number 791 DI 4453128 in 2003. The network is a conglomeration of 60 pastoralists’ individuals, NGOs and CBOs and non-pastoralist institutions and individuals supporting pastoralists’ development process in Kenya. It draws its membership from North Rift, South Rift, North Eastern and Upper Eastern regions of Kenya representing 14 pastoralist Counties. Its mission is to lobby for the inclusion of the pastoralist agenda in mainstream development with the vision of a prosperous pastoralist society.

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