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Why Uhuru’s tour did not excite Narok residents

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s tour of Narok County on Friday failed to address two major issues which residents hoped he would tackle.

The residents said they had expected the President to address insecurity and help offset loans amounting to millions of shillings that wheat and sugarcane farmers owe the Agriculture Finance Co-operation (AFC).

And as the head of state was criss-crossing the county seeking for votes, a man was shot with an arrow at Pimbinyiet in Trans Mara West, which has witnessed clashes between the Maasai and Kipsigis communities for the past one year.

Mr Silal ole Mainoya, 60, was grazing his goats near river Mogor when armed youths ambushed and shot him on his right hand with an arrow.

About 40 people have been killed in Pimbinyiet and Esoit areas in the past one year as the two communities fight over land and cattle rustling.

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HOUSES TORCHED

Many other people have been injured, houses torched and dozens of people displaced from their homes.

Mr Emmanuel Mukasa, a resident of Pimbinyiet, says they expected the President to give a directive on how the state plans to quell the violence.

“A word from the President is very powerful. We are very disappointed that he did not mention even a word on the insecurity,” said Mr Mukasa.

He wondered who would be left to vote if people were allowed to continue butchering each other like animals.

“Yes, he came to seek our votes. We are willing to vote for him, but who will be left to vote if we are killed?” he asked.

VOTER LISTING

Mr Mukasa said due to insecurity, residents were not able to participate in the new voter listing that ended early in the year.

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Mr John Ng’eno, another Pimbinyiet resident, said though the National Land Commission had earlier in the year visited the region, it had been dilly-dallying in solving a decade long land conflict that has been cited as the main cause of conflict.

“Dr Mohammad  Swazuri of the Land commission came here on February 23 and promised to be back in two weeks to sort out the land conflict where several title deeds have been issued to one piece of land. But we have neither seen nor heard him since,” he said.

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On the other hand, sugarcane farmers lamented that the President’s tour did not capture their interest despite them contributing greatly to the growth of the country’s economy.

The farmers hoped that the President would announce the writing off of more than Sh44 million in loans at the AFC.

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AGRICULTURE LOANS

Kenya Federation of Sugarcane Farmers, Trans Mara branch Chairman Stephen Narupa said besides the AFC loans, they owed banks and other financial institutions millions of shillings in agriculture loans.

“We have seen President Uhuru Kenyatta writing off coffee loans in other parts of the country, why not for Narok farmers,” said Mr Narupa.

He explained that many were contemplating to abandon the farming due to meagre profits while others were struggling to get back to wheel after losing their properties to auctioneers.

“Our properties have been auctioned as banks try to recover their loans,” he said.

Mr Narupa said the writing off of loans is an incentive by Jubilee government that will see local farmers boosted financially.

Wheat farmers were also expecting the President to announce a Sh500 million waiver.

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