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Herders invade farms and attack people as locals, police accused of failing to take action

RIFT VALLEY
By Julius Chepkwony | December 3rd 2018

Jacob Nganga (left) being assisted by a neighbour to repair the fence brought down by suspected herders at Banita in Rongai sub-county on November 28, 2018. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

 

Residents of Banita Settlement Scheme in Rongai Sub-County, Nakuru County, are living in fear following continuous attacks by herders invading their farms.

 

Over 150 families in the area claim their lives are in danger with some opting not to spend nights in their homes.

Bernard Mwangi was last week beaten by a group of people believed to be herders who wanted him out of a five-acre parcel of land with grass.

He claims a group of youth visited his house at around 1AM and beat him up.

He sustained injuries on the leg, head and back.

“The herders had warned me earlier and on that day they came to check whether I was around, armed with crude weapons they forced themselves into my house, took me out and started assaulting me,” said Mwangi.

He fled the home and reported the matter to Banita Police Patrol base and sought medical attention at Banita Health Centre.

Police officers have been accused of failing to take action as more locals visit the station to report.

The Standard established that over 20 people had reported attacks and trespass by the herders, but no action has been taken.

Another resident Jacob Nganga had his fence surrounding a five acre parcel of land with grass brought down by suspected herders.

Ng’ang’a, before putting up the fence, had engaged the herders who agreed to have it in place. Little did he know they (herders) had planned to bring it down that night.

He also reported the case at Banita Police Patrol Base.

He claims the herders with hundreds of animals are known and can be identified.

“I reported the matter to chief and police but have not seen them come to assess the damage. Am now worried and wonder who will help me,” said Ng’ang’a.

He said the continuous attacks are worrying.

Dorcas Wangui said she has been threatened severally and despite reporting to the police no action has been taken.

“We have been assaulted by people who come to graze their cows on our lands. We report and no action is taken against them, they are known as we have forwarded their names to security personnel,” she said.

Residents say they have to spend their night in the cold hiding for fear of being attacked by the herders.

Banita Police Patrol Base Officer in charge Corporal Richard Mwangi admitted that numerous cases have been reported to them but were having difficulties in trying to enforce the law.

Mwangi said they do not have a vehicle to use in their patrols as none had been provided to them adding that he is forced to use a motorcycle at times while responding to an emergency.

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