Tata, KWS accused of oppressing the Maasai

Governor Lenku has said the Maa community has many resources that it’s not benefiting from its proceeds

By Jonathan Teikan

Maa community leaders have accused Tata Chemicals Magadi and Kenya Wildlife Service of being part of the machineries perpetuating oppression against the Maa community.

The leaders made the allegation during the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) popularizing rally held at William ole Ntimama stadium (formerly Narok stadium), in Narok.

The rally which brought together the six Maa-speaking counties of — Narok, Kajiado, Samburu, Laikipia, Nakuru and Baringo — was attended by among others; host Governor Samuel ole Tunai, Environment Minister Keriako Tobiko, his Devolution counterpart Eugene Wamalwa and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Led by their coordinator and Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku, the leaders said, among other issues, land historical injustices remain a pertinent issue that the Maa community needs resolved.

While reading the region’s memorandum Governor Lenku said, “When we talk about [perpetrators of historical] land injustices, we are not talking about people who have justifiably and in a legal way acquired land.

“We are talking about land resources like Amboseli, Magadi and many others that are not currently in our hands and the community is not benefiting from the proceeds of those lands,” said Lenku.

He added that: “Our share needs to be put across.”

Later on, when the governor rose to invite the ODM leader to the address the rally, he reiterated that Tata Chemicals Magadi Ltd that harvests soda ash in Lake Magadi, only utilizes 5,000 acres of 300,000 acres, “that belongs to the Maasai”.

He also alleged that though 80 per cent of the wildlife (at the Amboseli National Park) are living with the Maasai, the community is not receiving any share from the revenue that the government is making from the utility.

More to follow…

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