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State orders herders out of private farms in Baringo, Laikipia

Rift Valley
 Aerial photos taken using a drone above Laikipia Nature Conservancy showing armed illegal herders and their livestock on September 12,2021.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Mohamed Maalim has ordered herders who have invaded private farms in Baringo and Laikipia counties with hundreds of livestock to move out.

Mr Maalim issued the order on Wednesday while touring schools closed due to banditry in Baringo South following a directive by President William Ruto during the Kimalel Goat Auction at Baringo.

The administrator was accompanied by the regional security team, education officials, MP Charles Kamuren and MCAs.

He, at the same time, asked the herders to surrender their illegal firearms to the government.  

Maalim regretted that some herders armed with guns were responsible for the insecurity wave in Baringo South and North sub counties that has led to loss of lives.

“From today, we will not allow illegal herders in farms. We will not allow people to be displaced from their homes. We have heard of cases where some locals have been displaced for more than 12 years. Illegal grazers should return to their homes,” Maalim said.

There was an anxious moment at a meeting at Ngelecha when some illegal herders joined the villagers in listening to the address by the administrator. The herders who had left behind their guns, listened to Maalim issue the order to move out of the area. 

He told them to their faces that they should return to their homes in Tiaty constituency and they should engage their elders and local administration officers to approach their counterparts in Baringo South if they wanted to graze their livestock in the area. 

The administrator regretted while Kenyans in other parts of the country were busy fighting ignorance through education, the bandits were busy perpetrating cattle rustling and other archaic cultural practices.

Maalim said bandits had taken advantage of the tough terrain in the area to launch attacks, destroy government installations and education facilities, forcing local to flee.

“Herders should listen to me clearly, we are not in competition with you, I know you clearly get what I’m saying, there is no way one will defeat the government,” Maalim added. He praised the National Police Reservists for their efforts in repulsing the bandits and recovering stolen livestock.

The government plans to add another 265 NPR to the first group of 80 that  were recruited in February. This year, 130 illegal firearms have been recovered along Kerio Valley belt with 500 ammunition and a notorious firearm trader apprehended.

On Tuesday, security agencies recovered 1,650 goats from armed bandits from Tiaty, who had raided Lokori in Turkana.

Kamuren said the locals have faith in the government and believe that the situation will be addressed.

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