A human wildlife conflict has ensued at Kajiado near kyulu Game Park prompting a standoff between locals and KWS officers.
The tug of war is wildlife roaming and destroying crops and properties in Masaai community private lands whereas the KWS officers harass locals who graze at the park during this dry season.
In a stormy meeting held at Kyulu between the community, local leaders and KWS representatives, Locals claim their search for pasture in the Kyulu hills national park has been met with vigorous resistances by KWS officers.
They claim locals are battered, arrested for trespass and prosecuted. Incidents of rape cases by the officers has been reported upon bribery incidents for locals to graze in the park.
Locals say they have cohabited with wild animals for long despite untold pain caused to them including deaths.
They say they have been treated inhumanly pushing them to the wall to a point of cutting short the unique cohabitation.
”we have suffered and treated as second rate citizens by KWS officers and we can’t tolerate any more” said Mary Marikua
Natives also claim KWS has kept on reviewing boundaries without their consent currently placing the park at Makueni contrary to original map where the park falls squarely at Kajiado County.
Location of Kyulu hills park location is another thorny issue with Masaai community claiming their boundary with neighboring Makueni County is the railway line.
Kajiado leaders condemned the incidents urging KWS to treat Masaai community as equal partners in protecting wildlife. Leaders urged KWS to extend an olive branch to locals in this dry season to graze in the park.
Kajiado east MP Peris Tobiko condemned the battering incidents.
‘‘No way Maasai women shall accept their men to be battered by officers. It shall get to a point for them to reiterate and fight for the community.
Tobiko also urged KWS officers to respect the community.
Fire breathing Kajiado women MP Mary Seneta said the humiliation to locals shall not be without punishment.
‘‘Some of the KWS officers have been reported to have raped women. We can’t allow this uncouth behavior by errant officers. They must be brought to books”said Mary Seneta
They push for errant officers to be held responsible and punished as well as speedy compensation for families affected by wildlife.
KWS Deputy Director south Rift Region, Julius Cheptei apologized on behalf of errant officers saying it won’t tolerate promising issues raised to be addressed.
Kajiado Governor Dr. David Nkedianye says the Masaai community has been neglected and oppressed by KWS officers despite living with wildlife for so long.
‘‘Wildlife roams freely in our lands destroying properties whereas KWS officers have reduced themselves to battering women. Enough is enough and we demand for compensation for affected families” said Nkedianye
Nkedianye says most KWS officers are sleeping on their jobs
Early this year marauding jumbo killed a middle aged man upon destroying crops and properties worth millions.
The meeting took place three days after a pride of lions attacked and killed 50 goats at Kitengela reserve bordering Nairobi National park.
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