VOI, Kenya, Jun 10 – Leaders in Taita Taveta are calling for the immediate interdiction of national government administration officials that have failed to crack the whip on camel herders blamed for the latest spate of attacks on indigenous farmers and livestock keepers in the county.
Speaking at a funeral of a farmer stabbed to death by suspected non-local herders in Kirumbi, Voi, over the weekend, Governor Granton Samboja faulted national administration officials for presiding over what he said was outright violation of the rights of locals.
“It is clear the area Assistant Chief has an agenda to benefit people other than the citizens he ought to be serving. The Assistant Chief must proceed on interdiction as the investigation continues,” he said.
Alex Malumba was reportedly stabbed after he confronted herders who forcefully ushered their camels into his farm destroying his crops.
Mulumba’s killing followed an incident where a group of locals in Kirumbi killed over a dozen camels in a latest clash with non-local herders who reportedly invaded farmlands in the area.
Locals have in the recent months decried invasion of their farms by herders armed with firearms.
There have been reports that the herders have leased pastureland with local leaders now demanding for the revocation of grazing rights granted to all non-local herders.
Samboja said the county administration will not acknowledge any existing lease documents signed without its consent.
Taita Taveta Woman Representative Lydia Haika challenged County Commissioner Rhoda Onyancha to investigate cases of killings reported in the county and bring the perpetrators to book.
“We want justice for the young man who was stabbed to death and moving forward we want an assurance that such an incident will not recur,” she said.