Deputy President William Ruto has warned pastoralist communities against fighting over boundary disputes, saying individuals out for personal gain behind border conflicts.
During his tour of Isiolo on Friday, the deputy president shunned politics but that did not stop upper eastern and northeastern leaders from assuring him of their support for his 2022 presidential bid.
Instead, Mr Ruto, focused on the border issue, warning locals of the effects of regular clashes on the area’s development.
“If pastoralists continue to clash over borders including in Isiolo-Garissa and Pokot-Turkana among others, then the counties will continue lagging behind in terms of education and development,” said Mr Ruto.
Deadly border clashes have led to closure of schools and destruction of property
Early this month, three people were shot dead in Eldera, near the Isiolo-Garissa border with 250 others displaced over boundary row.
“Our major mission is restoring peace in this region. We will not allow border politics to stop our children from going to school,” he said.
Mr Ruto urged local leaders to preach peace and embrace dialogue to settle disputes, instead of inciting residents to turn against each other.
“There are no boundary disputes. Every Kenyan is entitled to live or work anywhere in Kenya. Those people telling you about border and causing insecurity in this region are misleading you,” he said.
Security agencies have been forced to beef up security in Eldera on the Isiolo-Garissa border after an attack left three people dead. ¬¬¬¬¬¬
Eldera, which is about 70km from Garbatulla, is claimed by two communities from Isiolo South and Lagdera constituencies in Isiolo and Garissa counties respectively.
Mr Ruto was accompanied by Isiolo Governor Mohamed Kuti, his Marsabit counterpart Mohamud Ali, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo and more than 10 MPs.
The leaders promised to support Mr Ruto’s presidential bid but asked him to upgrade roads, construct bridges and address insecurity in the county.
Mr Ruto said the government had set aside funds for construction of several roads, dams and bridges in the county.
“The region is behind our deputy president, we are ready to pay our debt,” said Senator Dullo.
Mr Duale said the government will focus on its Big Four agenda and would for now desist from politics.
Nairobi woman rep Esther Passaris, Mbalambala MP Abdi Omar Shuriye, Saku MP Dido Raso, Laisamis MP Musa Arbelle were among leaders who attended Mr Ruto’s event.