Tension is building up in Nkiruni, Kiamiramba and Cigiiriangiri villages in Tharaka North Sub-County between the locals and herders over grazing land.
Addressing journalists at Kiamiramba Market on Sunday, Gatunga MCA Mutegi Ruujia asked security officers to intervene before the dispute escalates to clashes.
He said the armed herders who have been grazing inside Meru National Park had invaded residents’ land with thousands of camels and cows and were forcibly driving locals away.
“There is need for security officers to solve this problem before it results to clashes,” said Mr Ruujia.
He said the herders had constructed makeshift manyatas on land belonging to Tharaka-Nithi Governor Muthomi Njuki.
The MCA added that the herders were also grazing in school compounds and disrupting learning.
Mr Ruujia said when questioned, the herders claim that they had paid some undisclosed local leaders Sh50,000 to allow them graze their animals in the villages.
Local herders also accused their counterparts of restricting them from watering their animals in the nearby Ura River.
In a recent tour at Kamutuandu Police Post, Tharaka North Deputy County Commissioner Vincent Aluaka and the area OCPD Joseph Kavoo advised locals to refrain from hiring grazing lands to the herders to avoid clashes and banditry.
The area also experiences frequent bandit attacks.