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Somali herders disrupt devolution meeting

Armed Somali herders interrupt governors' meeting in Kitui
Police officers prevent rowdy herdsmen surging the podium where governors Julius Malombe (Kitui) and Abdullahi Ahmed (Wajir) were addressing a devolution forum at Katumba area on the Kitui and Tana River border on Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Photo/MWINGI TIMES.


A group of nomadic herdsmen from North Eastern region disrupted a devolution meeting at the border of Kitui and Tana River counties on Tuesday, October 11, 2016.  The meeting was convened by two governors to continue a devolution torch Caravan initiated by the Council of Governors.

Kitui governor Julius Malombe and his Wajir counterpart Ahmed Abdullahi were forced to cut short the meeting held at Katumba area along Mwingi-Garissa highway in Mwingi Central constituency after the irate herders forced their way to the Dias.

The nomads were reportedly angered by the presence of Wajir governor alleging that there could have been a plan with the Kitui county leadership to extend the border and therefore displace them along with their livestock.

Governor Abdullahi tried in vain to cool down the rising tensions in the Somali dialect but the herders could hardly listen prompting him to hurriedly hand over the devolution torch to Dr Malombe.

A small contingent of police officers manning the meeting worked with restrain to pacify the herders who were armed with sticks and stones.  The agitated Somali herders at one time seemed to overwhelm the police and continued to surge towards where the leaders were sitting.

The meeting dispatched hastily with governor Malombe calling for peaceful coexistence between the herdsmen and the locals.

In the last two months tension has been high in the area leading to conflict between the herders and the locals over diminishing water and pasture prompting police to beef up security in the area.
Kitui governor Julius Malombe (Second Right) receives the devolution torch from his Wajir counterpart Ahmed Abdullahi  at Katumba area on the border of Kitui and Tana River counties on Tuesday. October 11, 2016. Photo/ MWINGI TIMES.

The governors asked the national assembly to desist from enacting laws that seemed to interfere with devolution services since in the last four years the units have shaped the lives of the rural populace.

“Nobody, not even the National government should intimidate devolution, instead  they should work together with the people to  strengthen it because Kenyans in the grassroots been touched by  devolution services which have been brought close to them,” Dr Malombe said.

He said his government has initiated over 4000 life changing development projects distributed evenly across the 40 wards.  He said given support, the devolved governments will realize enormous development.

Mr Malombe lauded the devolution caravan which he said will enable the people across the 47 counties to appreciate fruits of the 2010 constitution.

Mr Abdullahi echoed governor Malombe’s sentiments adding that governors will unite under their council of governors’ forum to ensure peaceful elections in 2017.









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