Inside Politics

Maasai elders turn back on Ruto’s controversial plan

Tuesday, June 6th, 2023 04:30 | By
Maasai Council of Elders led by Chairman Kelena Ole Nchoe (middle) during a presser to reject President William Ruto proposed plan to build affordable houses in Narok. PD/GEORGE SAYAGIE G. PD/PHOTO CREDIT

Maasai Council of Elders has rejected President William Ruto’s controversial housing project terming it irrelevant to the community.

Led by chairman Kelena ole Nchoe and Joseph ole Karia (Patron), the elders questioned the intended beneficiaries of the houses saying it is a ploy by the Kenya Kwanza administration to settle outsiders in Maasai land for political reasons.

Speaking during a meeting of all chairman from the eight clusters in Narok county, Nchoe said members of the community were rural dwellers and owned homes.

The elders argued there was no need to leave their homes for the apartments promised by Ruto.

“We are rural dwellers, we own homes, we have livestock, we do farming to feed this country, how can we now change this lifestyle to come and be urban dwellers, will we come with our cows or our farms?” posed Nchoe.

The elders drawn from Narok North, South, West, East, Transmara West, East and South and have united to forge a united front to champion the rights of the Maasai, denied claims that the community had donated 200 acres of land to the government for Ruto’s affordable housing project.

Ole Karia emphasized that the decision to donate their land was misleading as the said land was under the Purko Development Trust that has a process to follow through the Purko General Assembly, which manages the land and is the only authorised entity to conduct transactions on behalf of the community.

The plans to build the houses comes after an announcement by Housing and Urban Development principal secretary Charles Hinga that the Narok County Government and the County Commissioner has identified land for the Affordable Housing Program me(AHP) that was donated by the community.

Street demonstrations

Last week, Maasai lands activists threatened to mobilize the community to street demonstrations to protest the alleged donation of 200 acres of land belonging to the Purko Clan to the National government.

In a presser at the Limanet holding ground Prof Meitamei Ololdapash said the land allegedly earmarked for the construction of the houses is a 100 acres peace of land at Limanet area and another 40 acres at the Sheep and Goat land, all located on the outskirts of Narok Town.

The activists said the Purko clan has eight sections namely Mara, Mosiro, Naikarra, Lower Mau, Upper Mau, Melelo, Ololulunga and Naroosura whose representatives sit at the Purko General Assembly.

“To us, this project is irrelevant. Some of us do not live in these houses. Who are you constructing these houses for? If they were for us, there would have been public participation,” Dapash noted.

The two groups stand contradicts a section of MPs led by East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA’s) David Ole Sankok and Kitilai Ntutu (Narok South) who assured the president that the community support the project since they want to move from their Manyattas to the houses when built by the government.

“We as the Maasai community we are tired of living in the cow dung made Manyattas and want to live in stone houses and we support the housing project by government,” said Sankok during home coming of CS for Environment Soipan Tuya at her home in Leshuta where President Ruto and deputy president Rigathi Gachagua were chief guests.

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