President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned Laikipia leaders instigating violence ahead of August elections that they would be met with the full force of the law, and promised the restive county a peaceful poll.
“Those thinking that they will incite violence, community against community, that they will cause trouble — let me tell them, they are dreaming,” the President told mourners at the funeral of Dr Godfrey Gitahi “GG” Kariuki, the Laikipia Senator who died two weeks ago.
“It will not happen. We will not let you. You will see, you will see tough action,” the President said of politicians blamed for conflicts over grazing land, as well as attacks on private ranches in Laikipia.
President Kenyatta said individuals would also not be allowed to invade private land and destroy property using the excuse that they are protecting cultural interests.
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The President spoke as speakers at the funeral called for a meeting of leaders from Laikipia, Samburu, Turkana and Baringo to find a lasting solution to perennial conflicts among the mainly pastoralist communities in the region.
He urged leaders and residents to speak to one another to address problems facing the region instead of engaging in violence and lawlessness.
Paying tribute to the late veteran politician, President Kenyatta asked leaders to emulate the late GG and promote peace.
“GG wanted people from different communities to live in peace together in this county and that is what we will ensure prevails,” President Kenyatta said.
The President, who was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, described the late Senator as a patriot who served Laikipia County and the nation without discrimination.
He said GG was a towering politician who mentored many upcoming leaders without fear of competition.
“He was not intimidated by competition. He was keen to impart knowledge for the betterment of the country,” President Kenyatta said.
Deputy President William Ruto eulogised the late GG as a great leader and a practical politician who made a huge contribution to the improvement of the country.
“When the history of Kenya is written, it will not be complete without a paragraph on GG Kariuki. And when the history of Laikipia County is written, it will not be complete without a chapter or two on him. His footprints are spread all over the country,” the DP said.
Other speakers called for peace in the region in honour of GG, saying that is what the departed leader stood for.
Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro, his National Assembly counterpart Justin Muturi and Senate Majority Leader Prof Kindiki Kithure described the late GG as a leader who served the country with commitment and devotion.
They said GG was honest, generous, focused and a selfless leader who never looked down on others.
Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu said the late senator leaves behind a legacy as a peace crusader and a leader who played a big role in resettling many landless people in the county.
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Baringo Senator Gideon Moi said leaders from Laikipia, Samburu, Turkana and Baringo should meet and come up with a lasting solution to conflicts in the region, saying that was the best way of honouring the departed leader.
The late Dr Godfrey Gitahi Kariuki, commonly known as GG Kariuki, was laid to rest at his Rumuruti home in Laikipia County.