The government has warned political leaders in Tana River County against fueling animosity and tension on land and the forthcoming elections.
Coast regional commissioner John Elungata told local politicians to stop incitement on land and political grounds.
He cited the recent flare up in Madogo area which was quelled by security apparatus after alleged incitement among local communities.
Addressing local elders from the Orma, Pokomo, Wardei, Wailuana, Mywoyaya,Watta among other communities at Minjila in Tana River county, Elungata warned leaders and residents not to repeat the cycle of violence that has caused loss of lives and property and displaced many in the region.
“I recently toured Madogo where there was animosity and tensions. It was all about incitement,” he noted.
He added, “You should not forget the history of violence in this area that has led to loss of lives and property because you risk repeating it,” he warned.
Mr. Elungata also blamed the frequent conflicts on lack of respect between crop farmers and pastoralists noting that the forms at times attack the livestock grazing on their farms while the latter deliberately let their animals to freely roam on the farms.
“You must respect the decision of the Water and Pasture Committee and migratory herders from North Eastern have to seek permission from elders to graze in the county,” he directed.
In 2012, skirmishes between farmers and livestock keepers in Tana Delta claimed more than 100 people and displaced hundreds of families. The conflict ended after the March 4 general election.
Speaking at the meeting, Pastor Ezekiel Zita claimed local politicians were to blame for fueling tensions so as to displace a certain group of voters ahead of the forthcoming elections to their advantage.
“We do not want campaign tensions. Some politicians want to displace the voters close to the election to work to their advantage. Violence has undermined development and led to poverty in this region,” he argued.
[Community leaders in a peace meeting with the Administration at Minjilla in Tana river County. Photo/Ahmed Omar].
Mr Elungata noted that the communities made a peace deal last year and told them to uphold it.
“You should uphold the law and seek help from the government offices instead of resorting to violence. If you are not assisted from one office move to the next level. If you differ with your neighbour do not blame the whole community of being bad to you. You should avoid ethnic hatred,” he advised.