The eyes of the world cannot keep their gaze away from Kenya. Two public utterances by the opposition coalition leader Raila Odinga have sent chills down spines of both British Ranchers and hoteliers in the country, and most disturbing, ethnic profiling of the Mt Kenya communities. In less than a month, Odinga told international media that he will destroy the White ranches in Laikipia and give them away to nomadic pastoralists.
The armed herders have killed several persons including security officers, locals, and British land owners. Odinga during a political rally incited the Maasai community against other communities. His target is the Mt Kenya communities, specifically the Kikuyu and Meru, besides their distant cousins the Kisii. Days later, incitement messages went viral on social media while leaflets were dropped in Maasai land warning certain communities to get out of the region.
A Leaked strategy document reveals the scheme by Raila Odinga’s Think Tank, a team whose members are from Ghana, Tanzania, Kenya, France, and Germany. The violent raids on the White ranches by heavily armed herders and the involvement of politician Mathew Lempurkel in the Laikipia murders was the genesis of the execution of the grand strategy.
Violent raids on ranches in Laikipia and Nyeri areas of Mt Kenya region by Samburu nomadic pastoralists in the past 6 months was politically instigated. The mastermind, according to both ranchers and locals the Orange Democratic Party ODM, led by opposition coalition leader Raila Odinga planned and facilitated the raids. Odinga, publicly admitted that he has plans of dismantling the White ranches and hotels in the semi-arid Laikipia. Security agencies in both Kenya and Britain are worried about the security of their citizens in the area, but that’s not enough. In a leaked strategy document, ODM has a strategic plan to weaken or completely destroy the socioeconomic hegemony of the Mt Kenya region which is inhabited by the Kikuyu, Meru, and Embu communities. All three communities share a dialect, in fact, they nearly speak the same language.
In the document, the strategy is to destroy Laikipia by raiding the vast White ranches in the pretext of cattle rustling and lack of green pasture. Since the ranches cannot sustain the herders, the herders can move further south into Mt Kenya region and occupy the green pasture. The prone areas are Nyeri and Meru. An ethnic conflict between the armed herders and the farming communities in the mountain region will organically take place. In the Maasai land, the local communities should be stopped from selling land to the target communities. Instead, they should be forced out of the Maasai land.
Investigators argue that, while pastoralism is practiced on 25% of the global land area (where crops can’t be grown), mobile livestock farming can be used to cause conflict between farming communities and the nomads. The conflict is often resource based. The consequences of such a conflict has catastrophic outcomes including death, desertification, decline in socioeconomics, and worse, a long ethnic conflict. In the strategy, the opposition argues that livestock provides more food security than growing crops in arid and semi-arid areas, that’s why the food crisis in Kenya is often a livestock crisis. To end it permanently, the nomads should occupy the ever green mountain regions and push the farming communities further downhill through land invasion. This means agriculturally productive areas like Nyeri, Laikipia, and Meru will be affected or have already been affected.
Research shows the obvious effect of nomadic pastoral-ism on semi-arid and highland areas include stressing the climatic conditions of the area due to desertification (less vegetation due to over grazing).
Cultural raiding, food insecurity, economic stress, environmental degradation, marginalization of affected communities, market shocks and non-integration in value chains will hit Mt Kenya region. With evidence that quantity and quality of grasslands are on the decline due to environmental degradation, raiding and occupying farming communities lands in Mt Kenya region is a potent weapon. The Ameru and Kikuyu’s will be affected. What is the truly profound is that the difference in resource depletion is being used a weapon of environmental degradation, the blame is laid mainly to population dynamics which has resulted different human and animal populations, and that’s a great guise to destroy Mt Kenya and its inhabitants socioeconomic and political hegemony in the country.