Pastoralists in Laikipia accuse big ranchers of harassment

Rumuruti OCPD Patrick Okeri denied claims police were favouring the ranchers.

Thursday March 17 2016

Police officers return about 500 sheep and

Police officers return about 500 sheep and goats members of the Samburu community at Rumuruti Police Station in Laikipia County. The animals had been detained for trespassing into the ADC Mutara ranch. The pastoralists have accused ranchers of intimidation. PHOTO | STEVE NJUGUNA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By STEVE NJUGUNA
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Members of pastoral communities in Laikipia County have accused white settlers of harassment and intimidation.

This is after about 500 sheep and goats being herded by children at the Agricultural Development Corporation Mutara Ranch were seized and detained for three weeks before being handed to the police on Monday.

On Wednesday, the animals were given back to their owners, who had camped at Rumuruti Police Station for two days.

Mr Joel Kenya, a herder, said members of the community had been visiting the ranch from February 28 when the animals were seized to plead with ranch owners to release them in vain.

TRESPASS

“Why hasn’t anyone been arrested and charged with trespassing?

“How come this incident was not reported to police? It is obvious that nobody is listening to our cries,” he said.

The pastoralists demanded Sh1 million in compensation “for the losses we have incurred”.

Rumuruti OCPD Patrick Okeri denied claims that the police were favouring the ranchers.

He said those who trespassed would be taken to court.

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