A 50-year-old Land boundary dispute between two Kajiado communities that have created animosity and blood-letting skirmishes was briefly halted on Wednesday.
In what the leaders from Oldoinyonyokie and Olkeri group ranches termed “sweet, historic but also painful” decision, both communities called for a ceasefire as they seek a permanent solution.
Top leaders from the two group ranches converged at Magadi town, Kajiado West Sub County, under the chairmanship of the area deputy county commissioner William ole Kakimoni, and decided that 50 years of fighting caused them more hopelessness.
During the more than 8 hours of negotiation the leaders from the two sides, tension remained high on the negotiating table as chairmen complained of pressure being mounted on them by their members who were calling and telling them to put off the talks if they not in their favour.
KKakimoni ordered all the group ranches’ leaders to switch off their phones and concentrate on the ceasefire talks, at that point a group of morans who were watching from some distance attempted to storm into the meeting room but were repulsed by the area OCP, Joseph Mwika, and his officers.
Kakimoni said for the ceasefire to succeed, residents from both communities who have moved to grass bank areas of Lenkumush in Olker and Nkejek in Oldinyonyokie vacate immediately.
“I have ordered all the chiefs to ensure that people who have moved to disputed areas to move out by Friday, January 25. This will be a commitment from the residents to show they are committed to ceasefire and ready for a lasting solution to many years of blood-letting,” said Kakimoni.
Olkeri group ranch chairman, Simon Karei, told the meeting that the cause of animosities that have docked the two groups started before he was born and has over the years been perpetrated by members of Oldoinyonyokie who have been invading their grazing areas and water points.
“Let the truth be told here today before we cross over to shake hands with them that they have been fighting and shading blood of our people. They have also crossed over to our land and grabbed 12, 000 hectares against land adjudication act No. 35 of 1968, which was in our favour,” said Karei.
Nchui on behalf of his Oldoinyonyokie group ranch said three surveys based on the notice of declaration of adjudication section Ref. No. LND/OLD – OKE/1/7 of November 13, 1970, have been done but the opposing group has always contested.
“They are the ones who have refused to cooperate and end these injustices caused to our people by their members. Each side has water and grazing areas and I wonder why they are encroaching on our land,” complained Nchui.
Several elders in the meeting invited to moderate the negotiations told the DCC to take a candid position and rule, not in favour of anyone, on the way forward.
Unidentified elder told Kakimoni to make a painful ruling for the sake of posterity for the children from the two communities.
“You are not a politician and therefore, you will not be seeking our votes for a political seat. Make a ruling that is either sweet or painful for the sake of our children who have been introduced to war-mongering. This animosity is already taking a toll on us,” said the elderly man.
In conclusion, the two warring teams agreed to a ceasefire until February 7 when a new survey is carried out by independent entities with clearly intervisible beacons to mark the boundary between the two ranches.
A complete survey of both ranches to be carried out by either government surveyor or one hired jointly by the two ranches as that is expected to cure the issues between the two ranches.
It was also recommended that new rectified titles be issued to each group ranch.
Olkeri group ranch has laid claim on 39, 000 hectares while Oldoinyonyokie group is claiming 57, 000 hectares.