Samburu leaders claim KDF’s vacate orders a plot to stéal their land
Political leaders and university students from Samburu want the government to halt the implementation of vacate orders on residents as part of the Kenya Defence Forces’ (KDF) operation in the county.
During the ongoing operation, residents have been ordered to vacate their land as KDF personnel move in to flush out bandits who are involved in cattle rustling and attacks on residents.
The leaders said residents are living in fear of losing their land to grabbers if they heed the vacate orders.
“Our land is fertile and we see a sinister motive in these vacate orders. Some influential people intend to occupy our ancestral land yet members of our community are living like squatters in the places that they have been relocated,” former Samburu Woman Rep Maishon Leshoomo said.
They added that residents were undergoing a lot of suffering as the government continues to implement the orders.
In the cold
“In just two weeks, over 300 families have been left homeless and we anticipate the numbers will definitely rise in the coming days.
They are sleeping in the cold and the children are enduring unfavourable living conditions. They are not even attending school,” Leshoomo said.
The legislator said that bandits were taking advantage of curfew hours to invade and loot vacated homes.
“Almost everyday, we are surrounded by armed criminals in our homesteads firing at us,” she said.
Leshoomo said that in a span of two weeks, 14 civilians including the area senior chief and four security officers had been. Cattle had also been stolen despite the operation.
She said nine primary schools had been shut down after teachers and pupils fled the area.