Meru-Isiolo clashes blamed on projects

By: LILLIAN MUTAVI

Conflict in Meru and Isiolo has been blamed on the benefits of key infrastructure projects, politics and land.

The violence has, ostensibly, been about cattle rustling and so far close to 10 people have died.

Isiolo County leaders, among them Governor Godana Doyo, during a press conference, accused their counterparts in Meru of intimidating Isiolo people.

This is meant to marginalise Isiolo residents and bar them from reaping from the upcoming Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset) project, the proposed resort city and Isiolo International Airport.

“Isiolo leaders are aware of plans put in place to deny Isiolo of any future benefits that come with the flagship projects of vision 2030,” said Mr Godana.

Lapsset is raising the stakes as it is expected to drive development along its corridor that starts in Lamu and cuts through Tana River, Garissa, Isiolo, Samburu and Turkana counties to Ethiopia and South Sudan.

The leaders also blamed the skirmishes on incitement by highly placed national government officials.

They accused the national government of siding with Meru County, claiming that this was because Isiolo County did not have many voters.

They called for the resignation of National Cohesion and Integration Commission Chairman Francis ole Kaparo whom they accused of failing to interrogate inflammatory statement made by some politicians.

Isiolo Woman Representative Tiya Galgallo said the commission should be disbanded as it has failed to curb hate speech by leaders.

She alleged that the Kaparo commission has been reluctant to take action against politicians fuelling the clashes.

The team has decided to remain passive as the row escalates, she added.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION