As the campaigns for August 8 presidential contest gears up, National Super Alliance (NASA) Presidential candidate Raila Odinga has pledged to dismantle white-owned ranches in the expansive Laikipia County in order to avert chaos if elected the President.
White-owned Ranches in the Rift-Valley County have experienced invasions in recent times from people believed to be pastoralists, leading to violent engagements between herders and owners.
“These ranches are too big and the people don’t even live there; they live in Europe and only come once in a while,” Raila told The Times.
He added, “There’s need for rationalization to ensure there’s more productive use of that land."
The former Prime Minister said that the violent land invasions on the ranchers was as a result of failure by President Uhuru’s administration to manage them
There was rise in Insecurity in Laikipia after armed cattle herders moved into the ranches in search of water and pasture due to the drought that hit the country over the past months, leading to confrontations between owners and the herders.
During the confrontations, British rancher Tristan Voorspuy was killed, while in another incident, Italian Billionaire Kuki Gallman was shot, and sustained bullet injuries while touring her farm.
According to sources, a section of the herders are yet to vacate the ranches, even after it rained in the area. It is believed that local leaders might have incited local residents to invade the farm as they seek votes from certain communities in the region.
Sosian ranch was closed indefinitely last week, following attacks by armed bandits leading to loss of lives, while property worth millions of shillings was destroyed.
Reports indicate that 7 out of 30 tourism lodges in Laikipia have halted operations following the series of attacks.