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Man killed, five injured in dawn raid on ranch

Saturday July 04 2020
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The attack happened around 4am on Saturday. FILE PHOTO

Tensions are high in Mikululo ranch on the border of Makueni and Kajiado counties after a group of youths killed a herder and injured five others Saturday.

County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim said the youths raided at dawn, set huts on fire, and fled into the sprawling grassland leaving behind the 21-year-old man dead and the rest nursing injuries.

The injured were rushed to Makindu Sub-County Hospital.

"The attack happened around 4am on Saturday," Mr Maalim said, urging the Mikululo community against retaliation.

In a strongly worded statement, the administrator condemned the incident and pointed an accusing finger at Mashuru sub-county administrators and unidentified powerful individuals whom he said should be held responsible.

"Investigations should start with chiefs and their assistants to tell us what is their business in that locality if they cannot share timely intelligence on the impending attack. They will answer a lot of questions?" he posed.

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This is not the first time clashes have hit the ranch which, until last year, has been the centre of a long standing court battle pitting Makueni residents and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

A herder died in similar circumstances last year.

Over the years, KWS has been burning down houses in the area in a bid to evict residents from the 42,000-acre parcel of land which it had been claiming.

A court case over the ownership of the disputed parcel of land ended in February last year after a 24-year trial, granting the disputed parcel of land to the Makueni residents.

Judge Oscar Angote of the Environment and Lands Court in Machakos last year found that KWS had been trying to encroach the ranch and ruled the move was unconstitutional.

He issued a permanent injunction restraining KWS from evicting Mikululo Ranching Company Limited and its members, families, servants and/or agents from the land.

This move irked Masai herders who see the verdict as a bid to curtail their cattle from grazing freely in Mikulolo. Mr Maalim and his Kajiado counterpart Joshua Nkanatha.

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