Kepsa seeks an end to invasion of ranches in Laikipia
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA), the apex body of the Private Sector in Kenya, appreciates the continued engagement with the Executive and Legislative arms of Government in creating a conducive environment for business in Kenya across the various sectors of the economy.
Through its various Public Private Dialogue engagement platforms, KEPSA has sustained dialogue on the challenges facing ranchers especially in Laikipia. Specifically, we have consulted with the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Agriculture and the Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.
These consultations have focused on finding an immediate and long term solution to the perennial conflict over grazing land that has created tension between pastoralists, small and large scale farmers in Laikipia. KEPSA recognizes that the Government has acknowledged the need for decisive intervention on a matter that presents significant challenges and dynamics and one that calls for mutual dialogue.
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance, has expressed concern over the deteriorating security situation in the ranches situated in Laikipia County which has adversely affected many of its members involved in ranching, wildlife conservation, tourism and commercial farming.
About 10 ranches have so far been raided including Segera, Kifuko, Loisaba and Muge resulting in indiscriminate killing of wildlife, loss of human life and destruction of property in blatant disregard of the Constitution which guarantees the right to life and protection of property.
While acknowledging that the Government, through its security agencies, has moved in to flush out herders who have invaded various farms and ranches as they seek pasture for livestock, KEPSA notes that the situation has adversely affected economic activity and investment as well as dented Kenya’s image as a secure tourist destination.
KEPSA maintains that the Government must take all necessary measures to maintain law and order and halt the invasion of private and community conservancies through forceful trespass by herders who are often armed.
“The invasions also raise a pertinent concern over the sanctity of titles and right to peaceful enjoyment of property. It is irresponsible and dishonest that some of the invaders have been deceived to believe that the land will revert to them once the current leases expire. This amounts to incitement and those peddling such falsehoods should be held accountable for incitement’, warns Mr Mucai Kunyiha, Chair, KEPSA Lands Sector Board.
KEPSA wants the Ministry of Lands in conjunction with the National Land Commission to initiate and undertake sensitization of communities on land laws. Further, community and political leaders must be proactively and constructively engaged in ending the current mayhem and dissuading future invasions while the Government must step up disarmament of local communities.