October 23rd 2017

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One farmer killed as death toll on Naivasha land hits seven

An elder in the area, Albert Kipsang, said there were reports that the attack was planned weeks earlier and that it was aimed to cause fear among the residents. He put blame for the violence on Maasai morans.

By Free Press Correspondentnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comThursday, 13 Oct 2016 14:14 EAT

Over ten houses were torched at the Naivasha ADC land on Tuesday night as ethnic clashes between two rival communities continued in the area. A 50-year old farmer was also killed in the attack, according to residents and security officials.

The 50 year-old farmer was shot in the chest and as he lay on the ground, he was attacked by crude weapons. Naivasha assistant county commissioner John Opondo confirmed that a gun had been used in the murder, saying the trend of crime in the area was of great concern to the government, hence the increased deployment of security personnel there on Wednesday.

“One person has been shot dead following fresh clashes in Kosovo area and we have embarked on a major operation to net the gun and those responsible,” said the official, who attributed the clashes to a dispute over the ADC land whose case was currently being handled by the Nakuru High Court.

“The court case is a hindrance in the dispensation of justice in this area. The earlier it is dispensed the better it will be for stakeholders to find a way out of the problems,” the administrator said.

The death brought to seven the number of people who have been killed on the disputed land since January. By Wednesday evening, fear had gripped residents of Kosovo area even though dozens of security personnel were deployed there to keep peace.

The renewed violence was believed to have been perpetrated by a group of warriors armed with guns and arrows who had been driven from the neighbouring Narok County to the volatile area. The fighting is over the unutilized ADC land, which is currently occupied by members of the Maasai, Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities.

An elder in the area, Albert Kipsang, said there were reports that the attack was planned weeks earlier and that it was aimed to cause fear among the residents. He  blamed  the violence on Maasai morans. “The Maasai warriors cut off the farmer's head and later went ahead to burn over ten houses before fleeing and hiding in the nearby Eburu forest,” he said. 

Some residents spoke of movement by armed Maasai morans into the area last week. Dispute over the land has festered for at least four years but it took a violent turn in 2015 and early this year when several houses have been torched and people killed.

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