Land row brewing over KDF project
Wycliff Kipsang @wsang08
A row is brewing over plans by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) to acquire a 190,000-hectare land for the establishment of a military barracks and training ground in Tiaty sub-county in Baringo.
Residents claim they have not been fully involved in the process and accused some local leaders of keeping them in the dark.
Tempers flared on Saturday during a meeting held at Chemolingot AIC grounds with irate residents daring KDF senior officers, who toured the area to engage them on the matter.
A KDF team led by the chairman of the military land ad hoc committee, Maj-Gen (rtd) Morris Oyugi, the department intends to acquire 190,000 hectares for setting up training ground.
The plan has, however, not gone down well with residents, who claim they have not been involved in the process.
Tiaty MP William Kamket, however, refuted the claims, accusing some of his rivals of politicising the matter to gain political mileage ahead of 2022.
“We call on KDF to fully engage the community to address the matter. We have had a good relationship with them for years,” said Kamket.
During the meeting, some Pokot professionals presented a memorandum that the process of the land acquisition should follow due process.
Former Tiaty MP Asman Kamama, who has been at loggerheads with Kamket, questioned the legality of the meeting, which he said did not involve the National Land Commission and the county government, which is the custodian of all unregistered community land.
“The acquisition process should be put on hold until a proper public participation and due process of the law is followed,” said Kamama.
During the meeting, the leaders also called on the government to halt the ongoing security operation in the area to give dialogue a chance.
Government rolled out security operation to flush out bandits after a General Service Unit operation commander was killed in Ameyan area near the porous Kapedo while two other officers were seriously injured.
Massive disarmament was conducted in the insecurity prone hot spots of Ameyan, Paka, Silale, Nadome, Kapau, Chesitet and Kapedo.
Former and current political leaders among them MPs, councilors, village elders among others attended Saturday’s meeting.