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Governors warn on ethnic profiling

By Julius Chepkwony | February 24th 2020

A section of South Rift governors have raised concerns over the utterances made by some leaders during the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally at Ole Ntimama Stadium in Narok.

Saying the utterances border on ethnic profiling, they warned some of the talk at the fifth edition of the BBI public consultation forum regarding non-indigenous land owners in the Maa Nation was retrogressive and ill-informed.

Kericho Governor Paul Chepkwony said while it is appreciated that the Maasai have suffered great land injustices and other forms of marginalisation, it was inappropriate and misplaced to believe that this can be addressed by oppressing other communities living in the area.

Mr Chepkwony said the utterances were a form of ethnic profiling that should be resisted.

He said no community in Narok acquired land outside the willing-buyer willing-seller principle. This, he said, applies to the whole country.

Chepkwony said President Uhuru Kenyatta should take action against warmongers.

“We call upon the president to intervene as the trend is leading the country in the wrong direction,” he said.

Non-indigenous owners

Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui said the utterances were retrogressive.

“Utterances attributed to a section of leaders during the Narok BBI meeting in relation to non-indigenous land owners and reclaiming land across three counties were ill-advised,” said Kinyanjui.

He said the right to ownership of property was guaranteed in the constitution, adding that the days of ethnic mobilisation through incitement were long gone.

He said it was most unfortunate such sentiments came at a time the nation was seeking to heal the wounds of intolerance and political incitements.

Kinyanjui raised concern over leaders seeking to hijack the BBI to pursue selfish political agenda that may cause ethnic disharmony.

Nakuru Deputy Governor Erick Korir said it was unfortunate some people were seeking political mileage instead of building bridges.

In a memorandum, the Maa Nation said a commission on historical land injustices and contested communal land claims should be established.

They want the entire Mau Narok settlers and Agricultural Development Corporation lands in Nakuru reverted to them.

Download the BBI Judgement by all seven Judges - Civil Appeal No. E291 of 2021
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