Raila Odinga vows to create harmony between herders, ranchers

The Times reported on Monday that the Nasa principal who is also Orange Democratic Movement leader had vowed to “dismantle” white-owned ranches to control violence.

National Super Alliance (Nasa) Presidential candidate Raila Odinga says he will create harmony between herders and ranchers as part of his long term solution to constant violence in the farms.

Mr Odinga on Monday clarified comments he made to the Times of London on how he intends to resolve the bad blood between nomadic herders and ranchers, saying there was no clear policy on how the two communities should live.

“These ranches are too big and the people don’t even live there, they live in Europe and only come once in a while,” The Times quoted him as saying.

“There’s a need for a rationalisation to ensure that there’s more productive use of that land.”

MISPLACED COMMENTS

But on Monday, Mr Odinga’s Spokesman Dennis Onyango told the Nation the paper had “misplaced” Mr Odinga’s comments by suggesting he was among politicians accused of inciting local communities against the owners.

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“No one has tabled any evidence of Odinga inciting Laikipia residents to violence. What Mr Odinga has called for is for the government to broker an understanding between the ranchers and locals and help bring peace between the two groups,” he said.

“That is what he is promising to do as president. Mr Odinga is on record condemning the attack on Kuki (Gallmann) and calling on the government to restore law and order,” Mr Onyango added, referring to an assault on the conservationist who was attacked in April.

Ms Gallmann is the owner of 100,000 acres Ol Ari Nyiro farm in Laikipia and is among several white ranchers recently attacked by herders as drought ravaged the region.

In March, armed herders attacked and killed Sosian ranch co-owner Tristan Voorspuy, a British Army officer,  on the day assailants also torched houses on the ranch.

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