By ANTONY GITONGA
Narok,Kenya:Over 2,000 members of the Maasai community met on their spiritual land in Suswa, Narok County where they pledged to take over the disputed 75,000 acres Kedong Ranch.
The community vowed to block the expansion of geothermal exploration on the vast ranch that they termed their ancestral land.
Led by their political and religious leaders, the community said they would be demanding five per cent of the revenue generated by Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited (KenGen).
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During the emotional prayer ceremony, the community said for years it had been oppressed by the previous regimes.
The community’s move puts in jeopardy the ongoing resettlement of their colleagues living in the geothermal-rich area of Olkaria.
Narok East MP Lemanken Aramat said the land in question belonged to the community and nobody had the right to sell it.
He put KenGen and Geothermal Development Company on notice saying the community should be the first to benefit from job opportunities in the region. “Since colonial times we have been marginalised and oppressed and we shall seek compensation and justice,” he said.
Another community leader Mike ole Roka said they were demanding 75,600 acres of the Kedong Ranch.
He said that KenGen had already bought 3,610 acres of the ranch for the geothermal exploration and resettling some families yet the land did not have a title deed. “There is a court order barring the sale or any operations on this land,” he said.
He vowed they would block further works by KenGen on the dispute land until a case pending in court was heard and determined.
On his part Joseph ole Kishau said they had colonial documents which proved that their ancestors were allocated the land.