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CAMEL HERDERS' FEUD

DCI summons Taita Taveta woman rep, six MCAs

They are being sought for questioning over the conflict between camel herders and locals in the region.

In Summary

• On Monday, Governor Granton Samboja, Senator Jones Mwaruma and Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime recorded statements in Nairobi over the herders' feud.

•The MCAs were also required to appear at the DCI headquarters but defied the order, demanding an official communication.

Taita Taveta woman represantative Lydia Haika dancing with top KCPE students in Voi on January 3, 2018. /SOLOMON MUINGI
Taita Taveta woman represantative Lydia Haika dancing with top KCPE students in Voi on January 3, 2018. /SOLOMON MUINGI

Six Taita Taveta MCAs who had been summoned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations Voi office have now been asked to appear at its headquarters in Nairobi. 

Those summoned inlcude Majority leader Jason Tuja, assembly chief whip Ibrahim Juma and Sagalla MCA Godwin Kilele.

Others are deputy speaker Crispus Tondoo, Harris Keke (Rong'e), Godfrey Mwambi (Mbololo) and Christopher Mwambingu (Nominated).

Taita Taveta Woman Representative  Lydia Haika has also been summoned.

The leaders are being sought for questioning over an ongoing grazing conflict between camel herders and locals in the region.

Last week, DCI officers in Voi refused to record statements from the MCAs before referring them to the headquarters Nairobi.

On Monday, Governor Granton Samboja, Senator Jones Mwaruma and Mwatate MP Andrew Mwadime recorded statements in Nairobi over the herders' feud.

A text message sent to the MCAs by county DCI officer Henry Chebii said the leaders are to be questioned for incitement and disobedience of the law.

However, the MCAs led by Christopher Mwambingu faulted the investigator's office in the county for failing to take their statements.

He termed the act of sending them to Nairobi as intimidation, further calling the office of Ombudsman to investigate the conduct of DCI officers in the region.

"We don't understand why the officers are insisting that we go to Nairobi. There's a regional DCI office in Mombasa, but he doesn't want us to go there," Mwambingu told journalists in Voi on Tuesday.

He said the camel removal exercise was done by security organs and that local leaders had little involvement.

The MCAs were required to appear at the DCI headquarters on Monday but defied the order demanding an official communication.

"A matter of such weight cannot be communicated via a text message. We are still waiting for an official letter from the office," Mwambingu said.

Leaders in Taita Taveta are against illegal camel grazing by herders who have flooded private farms in the region.

The county government does not recognise the lease agreements entered into by a section of ranchers and the camel herders.

A month ago, a farmer was murdered in a cold blood by suspected camel herders at his farm in Kirumbi Village when he barred the camel herders from grazing in his farm.

(edited by O. Owino)