- Laikipia leaders say they incur huge losses when herders invade their farms.
- They urged the government to intensify security operations.
- The leaders supported the effort to drive away illegal herders from farms.
Leaders in Laikipia County, led by Governor Ndiritu Muriithi, on Wednesday demanded compensation for smallholder farmers who have incurred losses after herders invaded their farms.
They also demanded investigations into a shooting incident at Ratia Village in Ol Moran area, Laikipia North.
The leaders urged the government to intensify security operations in the county, as they supported the effort to drive away illegal herders.
“We want compensation for over 1,500 destroyed farms and 3,250 livestock stolen over the last year. The invasions have affected many families and that is why we are asking for compensation,” Governor Muriithi said.
“We also await without prejudice the results of any further official investigations into what occurred at Ratia area and everyone in Laikipia knows it is only through the restoration of law and order that the county will heal and grow.”
They spoke as security officials in Laikipia County moved to dispel fears of attacks. Reports emerged that pastoralists, whose cattle were killed by police last week at Ratia Village, were planning a retaliatory attack to avenge the killing of their animals.
Laikipia County Police Commander Simon Kipkeu said security had been beefed up in all areas that are prone to attacks.
“We have put mechanisms in place to ensure that we have beefed up security. We have deployed enough security officers on the ground and I want to assure residents that their security is assured as our officers are on high alert,” said the police boss on Tuesday.
A blame game has emerged between a section of leaders from Laikipia County, Samburu County and the police.
While herders claim that more than 300 head of cattle were shot dead, security chiefs in the county have dismissed the claims, saying only 75 livestock were killed during a fire exchange between officers and the herders.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet defended the officers, saying the animals were shot when a large group of armed men engaged police in a shootout while taking cover behind the livestock.