Maasai leaders want land taken by colonialists returned - Beaking Kenya News

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Sunday, 2 June 2019

Maasai leaders want land taken by colonialists returned

Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku
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Maasai leaders have renewed the controversial clamour for the return of community lands taken away during the colonial era and want President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene.
Leading the campaign, Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku said the fight for the return of community land is not yet over, adding that Maasai leaders will fight for the restoration of the vast area covering Naivasha, Molo, Nakuru, Mau Narok, Kedong, Kitet and Ndabibi to the community's ownership.
The governor's sentiments evoked memories of the struggle by former Maasai supremo William ole Ntimama who, until his death, wanted the land that lies to the south of the Mombasa-Kisumu railway from Konza to be returned to the Maasai people.
Speaking during the Madaraka Day celebrations at the Narok Stadium, Mr Lenku told the President that part of the struggle by Maasai heroes was the fight to reclaim the land.
"In 56 years of self-rule we have archived a great deal, though we have some ground to cover," said Mr Lenku.
"We as the Maa nation are grateful for your efforts on Land. You know the story of Mosiro where our people were dispossessed of their Land and you came to rescue them. We want to use this platform as the Maasai leaders to say thank you," Mr Lenku said.
The governor, who got addressed the celebration as a co-host with Narok Governor Samuel ole Tunai, thanked the President for his directive on the Vet Farm in Ngong where the process of returning it to its bona fide owners is being implemented by the national government through the National Land commission.
Narok and Kajiado counties fall under the same economic block.
Mr Lenku further waded into the emotive Maasai Mau Forest and hailed interventions by the national government to flash out settlers from the forest, saying the move will guarantee future generations and the entire nation which depends on its waters.
"However, the fight for freedom is not yet over. Our heroes’ struggle for justice and fairness continues; a lot of ground remains uncovered," said Mr Lenku.
He complained that for over 100 years, the Maasai have been "continuously and perpetually relegated to the dark corners of the Kenyan society".
He called on all MPs, MCAs and opinion leaders to demand for the return of all Maasai land which was lost through conquest by the colonists, annexed, grabbed, stolen or ceded to outside forces.
The governor seems to be keen on following in the footsteps of the late Mr Ntimama, a self-styled champion of Maasai rights, who started the agitation for the return of community lands in the early 1990s.
"Over the years, the Maa nation continues to lose land when they go out to search for pasture. Upon return to their lands, they find titles have been issued to individuals. This dispossession of our land is the work of cartels that are thriving in our land registries. I call upon the investigating agencies to now focus on the land sector. This is a problem that must be resolved if at all we have a chance to address the land question among the minority communities," added Mr Lenku.

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