Laikipia pastoralists preparing compensation claims for slaughtered animals

Pastoralists living in Laikipia are preparing their compensation claims after the government indicated that it would compensate herdsmen whose livestock were killed during a recent security operation to flash out invading cattle from private farms.

The herders have so far said some 2, 885 cows were killed in the security operation even as Samburu County Commissioner (CC), Wilfred Kinyua cautioned against exaggerating the list and including those who were not affected as this would affect genuine claimants.

The list of claims emerged during a public participation seeking residents’ views on a memorandum to be presented to President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday.

A committee constituted on the directive of the President to help in the identification of those affected by the operation said that various atrocities had been committed against pastoralist communities in Laikipia County during the security operation meant to drive away herders from private ranches in the county.

The report noted that 117 Samburu families living in Laikipia lost 874 cows, 86 Maasai families lost 511 cows and 14 Turgen families lost 184 cows while 28 Pokot families lost a total of 1, 316 cows.

However, the number is expected to rise before the report is presented to the president after it emerged that the investigating committee should include families that migrated back to Samburu after the conflict.

A resident of Naibor Keju village in Laikipia West, Nickolas Lemetek said that his eleven cows were shot dead during the security operation yet he was not included in the report.

He said that it was not only Samburus living in Laikipia that were affected but also those who had migrated from Samburu County into Laikipia in search of pasture.

I urge the committee to include those who migrated back to Samburu after their cattle were killed so that all affected people can be compensated. Lemetek said.

Titus Loseneti, a resident of Suguta Marmar, said that the report should also factor in the release of underage boys who were arrested grazing in the private ranches early this year.

These are innocent children caught between conflicts they were not aware of. They were just grazing innocently and they should be released, he said.

Political leaders present declined to speak to KNA after the meeting, saying that they did not want to preempt what they would present to the President on Monday.

Source: Kenya News Agency