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Somali herders invade Tseikuru farms, drive away population


Somali herders graze their camels in farms of the locals in Mwingi East.  PHOTO|FILE




In summary

·         Somali herders have invaded Kaningo villages in Tseikuru, Mwingi North SubCounty and displaced area residents.

·         The residents who practice farming have their crops destroyed by the Somali camel herders who herd the camels in free range and often invade the farms of the Tseikuru residents

·         The government has done nothing to address the plight of the residents.

·         Kitui County Commissioner John Ondego says that ‘they are working on the matter’.

·         In the recent years government has used millions of money in police operations aimed at flushing out bandits along the porous Kitui-Tana River border.


Residents of Kaningo area in Tseikuru, Mwingi North constituency are now calling upon the government to flush out Somali herders due to massive destruction of crops in the area.

“The County government should  work together with the national government to make sure that the Somali herders are out of this area”, said John Kimanzi, a resident.

The residents lamented that armed marauding Somali camel herders have driven their animals into farms in the area resulting to conflict between the pastoralists and the Kaningo farmers. They expressed fear of a possible prolonged food shortage in the area unless the camel herders are flushed out of the area.

Government neglects Kaningo plight

The residents further disclosed that dozens of families had fled their homes to neighboring villages in fear of attack by the marauding armed camel herders and are yet to return to their homes.

“More than five families have been displaced by the gun wielding camel herders who have invaded and evicted the local from their farmlands and the government has not restored peace in the area”, said Jackson Kitheka, a resident in Kaningo area Tseikuru sub-county.

Hard talk

Kitui County Commissioner John Ondego said that ‘they are working their level best to make sure that the Somali herders are out of the area and there will be no more massive crop destruction’.

Recently Mwingi North Member of Parliament Paul Nzengu threatened to lead his constituents in flushing out the armed Somali pastoralist if the government fails to evict them. The MP made the threats at Kasiluni area in Kyuso Sub County during a burial of a man who had been shot dead by the armed Somali camel herders.

The residents warned that unless the herders are flushed out acts of lawlessness will persist in the area.

As the conflict between the two communities persist efforts by local farmers to produce food and be food self-sufficient is in jeopardy.

It is apparent that the recent past national government efforts to flush out the illicit herders seem have not materialised even after spending millions of the taxpayers money to fund security operations in the areas along the porous Kitui-Tana River border.  

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