Third Eye

Act decisively on recurring land fights

Friday, July 24th, 2020 00:00 |
Arch-Bishop Jackson Ole Sapit. Land has been identified as the key cause of recurring skirmishes in parts of the county. Photo/PD/FILE

Early this week, a gathering of religious leaders urged the government to urgently resolve land-related disputes between residents of Narok, Kericho and Bomet counties ahead of the 2022 General-Election to avert violence.

The clerics, led by Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Archbishop Jackson ole Sapit, pointed out that  land had been identified as the leading cause of recurring skirmishes in that part of the country, warning that if nothing is done, it would lead to more bloodshed.

The leaders cited some of the causes of disputes as lack of legal ownership documents, allocation of double title deeds for the same piece of land, and boundary disputes between ranching groups.

So far, they observed, the clashes - mainly involving the Kipsigis and Maasai communities - have left at least 12 people dead, dozens nursing serious injuries while tens of houses and properties worth millions of shillings have been razed.

Speaking on Tuesday during a leadersā€™ meeting organised by National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) in Narok, they noted that most political actors use land as an entry point for agitation.

They essentially mislead the electorate into causing chaos because land ownership is an emotive issue.

We wholly associate with the sentiments expressed by the clergy and hasten to add that the government must move fast and address land-related conflicts across the country.

Indeed the on-and-off disputes between the two Rift Valley communities is only one in many of the hotspots of violence dotting the country.

Conflicts have frequently been reported in Marsabit, Isiolo, Kakamega, Samburu, Nandi, Wajir, Kisumu,Turkana and Elgeyo Marakwet counties.

It is almost predictable, as the religious leaders noted, that the violence will spread into more counties as the 2022 election draws ever closer, because history has shown so.

Securing the lives and properties of the Kenyan people is the top most onus of the national government.

It is a responsibility which the State should not procrastinateĀ  about. It is a duty which it must execute without being reminded or persuaded.

The government must just deliver on this minus excuses, threats and promises or any form of prevarication because all Kenyans are free to live in any part of the country as long as they acquire their property legally.

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