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Troubled Top Imbirrikani Group Ranch Officials Now Call For Members’ Meeting

Imbirrikani group ranch management in Kajiado has fixed an emergency meeting with its members on Wednesday to make public their land use and grazing policy.

Richard Bonham engage security officials.

The two issues sparked off misunderstanding between the morans’ wing of the group ranch, the officials and the Big Life Foundation management on Friday

Chairman Daniel Metui made the announcement on Sunday; three days after more than100 armed Maasai morans went to Oltiasika location with intent to seek clarification with the Big Life Foundation on their engagement with their group ranch officials.

After receiving information which claimed the morans were going to burn down the Big Life Foundation establishments on the slopes of Kyulu Hills on Friday, Kajiado South deputy county commissioner, Lawrence Kinyua and his top security team took a flight to the troubled area.

Big Life Foundation CEO Richard Bonham addresses Imbirrikani Maasai morans on April 20 in Oldonyowuas Upper Belt region of Kyulu Hills.

On arrival at the site where the morans had pitched camp, Kinyua, his security team and journalists were warned from moving closer to them or taking pictures.

Even the area senior chief, James Likampa or any other government official was allowed near them.

Likampa, while briefing journalists, said the morans had planned to invade the establishments of the Big Life Foundation because its CEO, Richard Bonham, had allegedly engaged top officials of Imbirrikani group ranch in a bid to secure more land for wildlife conservancy in Oltiasika location.

He claimed the youth had accused the group ranch officials of not being transparent on issues affecting their land.

Pilot William Graig flew KNU team to Kyulu on April 20.

Bonham, who was present when the top sub county security team arrived in Kyulu said he had no intention to buy land or lease more than the 700 acres he has already put under conservancy.

Metui explained on Sunday that the intended meeting on Wednesday will make clear the group ranch’s land use and grazing policy.

He said the morans engaged him on Friday over several questions regarding the ban on grazing along the slopes of Kyulu Hills.

“I told them that the area in question is clearly known to members that it is a grazing area during drought.  Members are not allowed to graze in the area when it is raining. This has been their worry that we kept herders away with intent to lease the land to Bonham,” said Metui.

Oltiasika Location senior chief James Likampa addressing Imbirrikani morans on Friday April 20 after they were stopped from storming the Big Life Foundation establishments in Kyulu Hills.

The chairman said Imbirrikani group ranch members have never approved the area to be placed under any nature of conservancy.

“We abide by what the members decide. We are not dictators in any way, after all it is them who elected us,” said Metui.

 During the Friday engagement, Kinyua addressed the morans and appealed to them to seek clarifications touching on their land with decorum instead of taking law into their hands.

“I am happy of the way you have engaged your leaders today. I saw that each one of you listened to your leaders with keenness, and that is the way to go,” said Kinyua.

Bonham said he has been involved in conservancy issues since 1986 but has never crossed swords with the local Maasai in Kajiado.

On Sunday Metui explained that the management has no plans to interfere with the Oldonyowuas Upper Belt of the 127, 000 hectares land because the region is reserved for grazing during drought.

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