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Mudavadi blames ranch invasions on failure to tackle drought

ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi. (Photo: Boniface Okendo/Standard)

Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has blamed the deaths and conflict in Laikipia on Jubilee administration’s failure to mitigate effects of drought.

Speaking in Suswa and Ntulele in Narok, Saturday, Mudavadi claimed the government mismanaged drought response to create room for inflated tenders to benefit a select few suppliers and transporters at the expense of hunger stricken families.

“The drought response team has no plan. It’s haphazard, disjointed, staggered and selective. The early warning was made long ago but government dragged its feet so that drought could fester into famine to enable some make money out of it,” said Mudavadi who is also NASA leader.

The former Deputy Prime Minister claimed no measures were put in place to cushion pastoralists against losses forcing them to invade ranches for water and pasture for their animals.

“Jubilee should take the blame for ranch invasions. Jubilee thinks pastoralists only need food like other Kenyans yet the greatest need for pastoralists is pasture and water for their animals,” he said.

He said security forces should have been deployed to distribute relief food to families instead of harassing residents in conflict prone areas.

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“There is no need for massive deployments of armed forces to deal with localised conflict. What the areas need is massive deployment of development projects aimed at improving livelihoods such as water, roads and schools,” said Mudavadi.

He warned that using excessive force in the security operation in Kerio Valley, Elgeyo/Marakwet, Baringo and Laikipia will aggravate the conflict.

Mudavadi who was accompanied by ANC Deputy party leader Kipruto Kirwa and Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi also delved into the historical land injustices meted to the Maasai community and promised that NASA will implement the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report.

“The solution to these conflicts is to implement the TJRC Report on historical Injustices. Such injustices don’t just address compensation for forceful evictions from ancestral lands but must also deal with acts of developmental neglect in education, provision of roads and water amenities,” said Mudavadi.

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