ODM leader Raila Odinga has perceived the deployment of the army to Laikipia County to rein in insecurity as an attempt to turn the country into a military state.
He was speaking at a press conference where leaders drawn for the Maasai community demanded the withdrawal of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers dispatched to the area after a spate of private ranch invasions.
Mr Odinga also condemned what he said was the use of brutal force in the operation.
“Jubilee needs to be taught how to run a civilian government. They cannot turn this country into a military state. This country is not Burundi, Uganda or Ethiopia. If you cannot govern, just give way,” he said at the Bomas of Kenya.
He went on: “Instead of addressing the drought and making plans for people to access water in these ranches, Jubilee has created a crisis. Who in his right senses shoots at cows? We should give a life sentence to anyone who shoots cows.”
Mr Odinga said the problems the Maasai herders have with the ranchers can be addressed amicably.
The Maasai leaders, led by Kajiado Central MP Memusi Kanchori, said they want senior police officers sacked for failing in their obligations.
“We call for the withdrawal of police officers in Laikipia and the sacking of the head of the Intelligence, the OCPD, and the Administration Police Commandant in Laikipia, as well as compensation of those displaced,” Mr Memusi said in a statement.
Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel, who is facing a murder charge over the death of a British rancher, accused the police of killing livestock.
“The KDF has killed over 20,000 heads of cattle. We are suffering from drought, and now the few animals we had are being knocked out,” Mr Lempurkel said.
Mr Ledama ole Kina, the ODM Narok Senate aspirant, said: “How do we put interests of foreign citizens ahead of those of our own? It will be a sin for anyone from the Maa nation to vote for Jubilee.”