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Mwatate villagers hurt in violent clash with KWS rangers over Sh 50 million electric fence project

COAST
By Renson Mnyamwezi | February 14th 2019

Three villagers were seriously injured when they confronted Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) personnel over construction of a multi-million shilling electric fence project.

Trouble started when the KWS personnel arrived with a contractor to begin the construction of the Sh50 million fence at Alia village in Mwatate sub-county only to meet resistance from the villagers opposed to the 30-kilometre Bura-Sarova-Alia-Mwananchi project.

The villagers and leaders claimed the project, if allowed to continue, would fence in their farms, houses and mining fields.

Nominated MCA Christopher Mwambingu and a youth leader Haman Righa said one of the victims suffered broken ribs following an attack alleged to have been by the KWS personnel.

They claimed the KWS personnel used rifles to attack innocent villagers.

“We want those involved in the attack on villagers arrested and prosecuted. The work of the security personnel is to protect lives and property, not to harm people. The attack was ruthless and barbaric,” said Mr Mwambingu.

Speaking to The Standard yesterday, the Opposition MCA alleged that the fence would also lock in Mwananchi settlement scheme and deprive residents of their land rights.

According to senior KWS officials, the project is aimed at minimising persistent human-wildlife conflict.

Tsavo Conservation Area Senior Community Warden Zainabu Salim said she was not aware of the attack.

“We deal with wildlife and not human beings. I am not aware of the attack,” she said when contacted for comment.

She, however, said there had been a lot of resistance on implementation of the project that was expected to benefit locals.

Ms Salim asked those claiming to have been assaulted by KWS to record statements with the police for action

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