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Lenku picks eminent elders for old Ildamat/Iloodokilani border dispute

From left is Kajiado West MP George Sunkuyia, while on the right in Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku.
From left is Kajiado West MP George Sunkuyia, while on the right in Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku.
Governor Lenku has ordered the peace committee to start talks immediately, according to an insider, saying the elders should sit in Iloodokilani on Friday.

The 50-year-old Ildamat/Iloodokilani boundary land dispute that has threatened peace among two communities has now forced Governor Joseph Lenku to act.

Governor Joseph ole Lenku.
Multimillion sand harvesting is causing ripples among neighbouring communities in Kajiado County.

The dispute that had caused disharmony among the people of Iloodokilani and their brothers in Ildamat to the extent of causing their children to fight over sand resources may be destined to end.

Elders Involved

Insiders, in a governor’s private meeting, told KNU the governor picked eight elders from all the Kajiado communities from Ilkisonko, Matapato, Keek-Onyokie, Kaputiei, Kankere (Dalalekutuk), Ildamat, Iloodokilani, and Purko.

Lenku has ordered the peace committee to start talks immediately, according to an insider, saying the elders should sit in Iloodokilani on Friday and gather all the views necessary.

On Saturday, the same team will be expected to move to Ildamat where they will interact with the local people and take their views to handle the 50-year-old boundary land dispute between the two bordering communities.

It is said Lenku was surprised that such dispute had taken unnecessarily long to iron out given the fact the lad in disagreement stretches only about 20 km.

According to the residents, the boundary dispute had caused the youth from both sides of the divide to fight over sand resources owing to the fact each side felt had been denied justice on land matters.

From left is Kajiado West MP George Sunkuyia, while on the right in Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku..png
From left is Kajiado West MP George Sunkuyia, while on the right in Kajiado Governor Joseph Lenku.

On Thursday, a standoff between MP George Sunkuyia and Governor Lenku emerged after the Kajiado West MP claimed the police and the provincial administration were favouring the Ildamat community on issues of sand.

Sunkuyia claimed youth from Iloodokilani had been injured in an attack that took place last Sunday but none of the perpetrators was arrested.

The clashes have since left one person injured seriously, homestead fence burnt down and one truck damaged extensively.

Nunkuiyia was later joined by Kajiado Central MP Memusi Kanchori and two sub-county commissioners from Kajiado Central and Kajiado West to see how best the matter can be resolved.

It is said the governor later met with some people and instructed elders from all the eight communities domiciled in the county to take part in peace negotiations on the disputed Ildamat/Iloodokilani land boundary.

Chief Ole Letema

Chief Ole Letema said all the skirmishes that could have been linked to sand harvesting fights among the youth from the two communities hinged on the 50-year-old dispute.

Road transport between Kajiado and Maili 46 towns is cut off following skirmishes between two groups fighting over sand mines around the Kenya Marble Quarries area.

Governor Joseph Lenku in Kajiadio West
Governor Joseph Lenku in Kajiadio West’s Mosiro area.

 

The closure of the road on Wednesday and Thursday happened after three days of clashes between two warring groups from Kajiado Central and East sub-counties

Sunkuyia, who is Kajiado West MP where the youth was allegedly beaten up by their neighbours from Ildamat over sand, told his supporters to ignore the governor’s meeting.

“How can the governor purport to call for reconciliation meeting and yet those youth from Ildamat ward in Kajiado Central who beat and injured my people have not been arrested?” asked Sunkuyia.

The MP claimed there are no “lesser” Maasai people in Kajiado to warrant beating as police officers stand on the sides and watch without maintaining order.

He claimed those beaten up and their property destroyed belong to Iloodokilani community in Kajiado West, and own the sites where sand is being harvested.

MP Sunkuyia’s Big Question

“My question is very clear because we want to know why the police failed to arrests the inciters who cross over to another sub-county and carry out criminal activities against innocent people,” asked Sunkuyia.

Multimillion sand harvesting is causing ripples among neighbouring communities in Kajiado County..jpg
Multimillion sand harvesting is causing ripples among neighbouring communities in Kajiado County.

Kajiado Central Police Commander Daudi Lornyokwe confirmed indeed one man was injured and a sand truck destroyed by the marauding youth from Ildamat near Kajiado town, but that no arrest was made.

Lornyokwe said what the government had done was to suspend sand harvesting in the area of conflict until issues raised by both sides are resolved.

On Wednesday and Thursday, public service vehicles plying the Kajiado town /KMQ/Maili 46 road were warned by the marauding youth against using the road.

“What we have done as a government is to close all the sand mines in the area until the two groups come up with best practices of operation,” said Lornyokwe on the phone.

Lornyokwe said the area Deputy County Commissioner, Charles Wambugu stopped sand harvesting in the area on Monday after one man was injured following clashes that took place on Sunday night.

Police Roadblocks

The police have since put a roadblock on the turnoff to KMQ along the Kajiado/Namanga Road in a bid to stop sand trucks plying the route for fear of attacks.

Jane Sawe, a trader in Maili 46 town, said on the telephone all the PSVs that ply the Kajiado town route never left the town after the owners were warned on Tuesday.

“We use the same vehicles to transport our shop wares from Kajiado town, and as it is the situation on the route is uncertain today,” said Sawe.

Marble quarry in KMQ area of Kajiado West
Marble quarry in KMQ area of Kajiado West.

Peter Malit, who also operates a retail shop, said he sent money for several bales of maize flour from Kajiado and he had been told there are no vehicles for Maili 46 town.

Skirmishes between the two warring groups erupted on Sunday after a group from Ildamat ward forced itself into a sand mining area without allegedly consulting the people of Iloodokilani, who are custodians.

 

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