Two sub-clans from the Degodia community residing in Mandera North Sub-County clashed on Saturday evening over a chief’s position which is yet to be filled.
The Gedinur sub-clan is said to have turned against the Mahamud Jibrael sub-clan after it emerged that a local senior politician is trying to influence how the vacant position will be filled.
At least 13 houses were burnt by irate youths said to be from the Gedinur sub-clan which wants one of their own to become the chief.
“The Gedinur family that are the majority in Sarman Location are against the idea of being under a chief from the minority Mahamud Jibrael sub-clan,” a local who did not wish to be named told the Nation.
Guticha MCA Mohamed Ibrahim Yussuf dismissed the incident as nothing serious, terming it a family dispute.
“It is a family dispute and elders are handling the situation. There is no alarm,” said Mr Yussuf.
Mandera North Deputy County Commissioner Denis Kirui confirmed the incident but said he did not have much information.
“I understand there was burning of manyattas in a village in Sarman and this morning our officers went there to establish the cause. I don’t have much information at the moment,” he said by phone, promising to share more once the officers sent to scene report back to him.
It has since emerged that a group calling itself Sarman Community wrote to several national government officers protesting against the preferred candidate to fill the position in February this year.
The letter was addressed to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Interior and copied to several offices and agencies including Mandera County Commissioner, DCI Mandera and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
It is still not clear if these offices respondent to the letter.
The locals argued that the criteria used in identifying and shortlisting of candidates was biased and compromised.
“It happened that three of the applicants from Sarman Community were deliberately omitted in the shortlisting,” reads the protest letter seen by Nation.
The protesting community wanted the process of hiring a new chief cancelled and the position re-advertised.
They alleged that the new chief-to-be is not a resident of their location and is being imposed on them by government officials and a local politician.