6 December 2013

Kenya: Tension High in Narasha After Land Dispute Meeting Called Off

Tension is high in the trouble prone area of Nairasha on the Narok-Naivasha border after the government cancelled a meeting called by members of the Maasai community. The meeting set to be held on Saturday on the controversial land was called off in the last minute with the government sighting issues of security for the cancellation.

The Naivasha district security committee termed the area as a security zone noting that no meeting would he held on the land until pending issues were addressed. Three months ago, there was a bloody eviction on the vast piece of land a move that led to the intervention by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

There has been tension between members of the Maasai community and farmers from Ng'ati Company with each claiming ownership of the prime land following the incident. A group led by Nakuru County Maasai leader Sikona Ole Kupele had sought permission to hold a meeting on the land. According to Kupele, the meeting was set to donate foodstuff and clothing to those affected by the clashes .

"Nakuru county council of elders do appeal for permission to hold a meeting to donate foodstuff to our community in Narasha on the 7 th of December," reads the letter in part. But in a swift move, Naivasha sub-county commissioner Mohammed Abass blocked the meeting saying that it would create unnecessary tension.

Abass termed the area as a security zone saying that the meeting would end up spoiling the current harmony in the area. "Any person who wants to hold a baraza in Narasha area must get clearance from the regional coordinator, Principal Secretary or Cabinet Secretary," he said.

The commissioner said that tension was still high in the region adding that they could not allow the meeting to proceed. He added that vetting and profiling of those affected by the eviction was going on so that the victims could get compensated. "There is a splinter group already opposed to the meeting and we don't want another clash in the area which is experiencing relative calm," he said.

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