Implement President order on Amboseli takeover, says Lenku

Governor Joseph Ole Lenku (right) with senior county administrators during Madaraka Day celebrations at Ilbisel town. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

Kajiado Governor Joseph Ole Lenku has insisted that the Amboseli National Park should be handed over to the county government.

He said no amount of intimidation from non-government organisations and other stakeholders will stop the reversal of the park to his government.

Speaking during this year's Mandaraka Day celebrations at Ilbisil town, the county chief further warned those opposing President Ruto's directive to stop.

"This issue is of utmost importance to the Maa people, just like the preservation of the Mau Complex and the non-negotiable land rights of our people in Laikipia. It is a battle that must be won, and it shall be won!'' said Lenku.

President Ruto last year ordered the Tourism and Wildlife Ministry to hand over the control of the park to Kajiado county government. He said the transfer was prompted by recommendations put forth by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as well as an Executive Order issued earlier by former President Mwai Kibaki.

The governor said the Maa community has kicked off the journey to reclaim the tourism gem back to the people through an appeal by the Maa nation to the President who graciously concurred with them.

"We kicked off the journey to reclaim the park and so far, we have witnessed great commitment by the National Government through the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife to implement the Presidential directive on Amboseli," he added.

He also said the county government, which hosts the park, has already added more land for the conservation of wildlife.

"A matter of such immense benefit naturally attracts resistance from merchants and agents of poverty. They are among us! However, let me categorically warn that the will of God and the ultimate will of the people will never be defeated. We will not succumb to greed or self-interest," said Lenku.