However, the licence to go in with superior firepower will by itself not be the solution unless underlying social, economic and cultural issues are addressed.

To start with, the problems of armed pastoralists forcibly moving into private ranches in Laikipia County bears little resemblance to the ethnic blood feuds over cattle, pasture and territory that wreak havoc in Baringo, West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet; as well as Samburu, Turkana and Isiolo counties.

These are all conflicts that have been going on unchecked for years, peaking at times of drought like now.

Hundreds of Kenyans have died in these confrontations, so it is strange that the government only found it necessary to move in aggressively after a white farmer was killed.


That speaks volumes about the priorities of a government that cares much more about protecting a privileged few rather than addressing the grievances of a large majority.

Now, I’m not one for land invasions, or official seizures. I believe in the sanctity of private property; and hard work, thrift and perseverance as the route to wealth.

Neither would I advocate cutting up large successful commercial farms and ranches into tiny unproductive plots for political distribution to the allegedly landless people.

Some 50 years into independence, we are well past the time when everybody can sit back and expect to be gifted free land.

However, we would be living in a fool’s paradise if we failed to see the very real inequities that make land ownership in Laikipia a powder-keg ripe for ignition by selfish politicians every ready to stoke up ethnic and racial flames.

No racist interventions from British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will alter this fact.

All those affected Kenyans should be looking not to Britain for help, but inwardly for solutions that address serious problems to the satisfaction of all.

Email: [email protected] Twitter: @MachariaGaitho

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