Political rivalry cause of conflict in Kerio Valley

Since May, a low-level conflict in the Kerio Valley between Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot counties has left more than 30 people dead and many others displaced from their homes and farms.

Competition over access and control of dwindling grazing resources along River Kerio, ethnic bigotry and political differences have been blamed for the conflict in the valley that has been relatively peaceful until now.

As much as the national government has been blamed for being a bystander, those in the know say political rivalry between the resurgent Kanu and the newly-formed Jubilee Party is partly to blame for the escalating Pokot-Marakwet conflict.

Apparently, each side is blaming and sabotaging the other in a bid to gain political currency ahead of the 2017 elections.

Allegedly, the Kanu side of John Lonyang'apuo (West Pokot senator), David Kimaiyo (Elgeyo Marakwet senator hopeful) and William Kamket (Speaker of Baringo County Assembly) is using the conflict to convince Kerio Valley residents that the Jubilee administration that they voted for almost to a man in the 2013 elections is doing nothing to end the conflict.

This was well put by a Marakwet MCA, who said at one of the peace meetings that it is better to suffer in the Opposition than to suffer in Government.

The residents have nothing to show in terms of infrastructural development for being in Government and the latest conflict has