alexa Land losses take centre stage at TJRC - Daily Nation

Land losses take centre stage at TJRC

Sunday October 2 2011

By GEORGE SAYAGIE [email protected]

Land conflicts dominated truth team hearings in Narok North District.

Heritage Minister William Ole Ntimama, who was among those who testified, said historians depict the Maasai land case as the biggest colonial rip-off in Africa.

“We lost a million acres and we did not get a single one back. Other communities who suffered the same fate got most or all their land back after independence,” Mr Ntimama told the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission.

Mr Ntimama said that at the advent of colonial rule, the community was forcefully removed to land infested with tsetse flies, ticks and malaria.

“Thousands of people and millions of livestock were forced out,” he said.

He told the commissioners that the Maasai were still losing land through grabbing and forceful occupation and cited land in Mau Narok, which he accused government officials and speculators of scheming to take over.

Earlier, one of the people who testified moved the public and commissioners when he broke into tears as he narrated how a former National Security Intelligence Service director, Mr Samuel Kuntai Tunai, and a councillor engaged the police to displace the Oloirien community from land in Transmara District.

A sobbing Mr Francis Leshila Ole Ramet said more than 700 officers raided Oloirien Village in 2003, beating everyone in sight and shooting one dead.