One person died and four others suffered serious spear wounds after two communities in Makueni and Kajiado clashed on Saturday morning.
The 3 am incident occurred in the Mikululo area neighbouring Chyulu National Park, and which the Kenya Wildlife Service set aside as a dispersal area for grazing.
The Kamba community and its counterpart in Kajiado have laid claim on the area as each side is claiming the land is in their county.
A resident of Mikululo, Peter Muthiani, told KNU the attack occurred after midnight and one person who was killed was still at the scene at 11 am.
“This is happening after the Maasai from Kajiado stole 11 cows from us. We reported the matter to the police and they were told to return them but they only returned 8,” said Muthiani.
Muthiani said after the Kajiado community refused to return the remaining 3 cows, they also went there and stole 14 of their own but have since returned them.
According to a witness and a herder caught up in the conflict, Wilson Ndulu, the attackers also destroyed their makeshifts and were armed with spears.
“The one who died and the injured were attacked with spears. The injured have been rushed to Makindu Sub-county hospital with multiple injuries,” Ndulu told the Star on the phone.
He said they had reported the matter to Makindu police station but the body was yet to be collected.
Makueni County Commissioner, Mohammed Maalim confirmed the morning incident and could not give the details.
Maalim said he had no facts about the casualties and had dispatched Makueni deputy county commissioner and his security team to the troubled area on a fact-finding mission.
“You will tell this story to the world and is only fair if we provide you with the right information. As to whether something like that happened, yes, I can confirm it happen but I have no facts and figures,” said Maalim.
He said he spoke to Kajiado county commissioner, Joshua Nkanatha at 5 am and shared the information, and both agreed to send their deputies who share their jurisdiction boundaries at Olorien, the troubled land.
Maalim also said he has ordered a police patrol to be mounted in the troubled area to contain the situation.
July 2019 Peace Accord
“In July 2019, we had a joint security meeting with our counterparts from Kajiado and even moved to Olorien to agree with the people sharing the grazing land on how they will maintain peace,” said Maalim.
He said that at the meeting, they came up with a number of resolutions on how the two communities should conduct themselves. He did not give details of the resolutions.
The Makueni county commissioner said the two communities have been quarreling over water and grazing space.
Two weeks ago, KWS acting head of corporate communications Paul Jinaro defended their rangers accused of beating up Maasai herders in dispersal areas even after the court ruling.
“Each community has a stake over that land but if there is any boundary dispute between them, then that is the work of the provincial administration,” Jinaro said.
He denied claims KWS was protecting one group and allowing it to graze along the wildlife dispersal area.
Act Now, Says Parseina
Kajiado politician David Parseina while commenting on the latest incident in Olorien said the government particularly the Ministry of the interior should intervene to forestall peace and stop further bloodshed.
“The government should seek a permanent solution on the boundary dispute. The tension is a tribal animosity between the Maasai and Kamba communities over ownership of land and it is important the government should move with speed to forestall peace,” added Parseina.