GRAZING LANDS

Divide 15,000-acre Mutara Ranch among Kenyans, says Ruto

ADC Laikipia Mutara Ranch was among properties state claimed to be owned by the DP

In Summary
  • “For saying the land is available and mine, I hereby give you authority to go subdivide it and apportion it to Kenyans,” Ruto said.
  • The revelations have become a centre of heated 2022 politics in the country with Ruto denying links to some of the properties listed by the state as his.

Deputy President William Ruto has challenged the state to subdivide the 15,000-acre land which he is claimed to own at Mutara Ranch in Laikipia.

The DP said the land, which was among the properties Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i listed before the National Assembly Security Committee, was available for subdivision.

“I want to tell those who said I have 15,000 acres of land in Laikipia. For saying the land is available and mine, I hereby give you authority to go subdivide it and apportion it to Kenyans,” Ruto said.

In a meeting with MPs following the change of DP’s security detail, the Interior CS said the ADC Laikipia Mutara Ranch had six police officers assigned to secure the property.

Matiang’i, in the submissions to Parliament, further listed Ruto’s properties to include 2,500-acre Mata Farm in Taita Taveta, several acres in Transmara, among other assorted properties guarded by the state.

The revelations have become a centre of heated 2022 politics in the country with Ruto denying links to some of the properties listed by the state as his.

In a meeting at his Karen residence with members of the Maa community on Thursday, a defiant Ruto told the government functionaries to consider apportioning the parcel to wananchi, to use as grazing lands.

“Since you have details, I have allowed you to go divide it for Laikipia residents so that the locals find areas to graze their animals,” he said.

The DP made the satirical call at a time the government has embarked on an operation to drive the herders out of the ranches in an effort to contain sprawling banditry.

He further called on the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to stop playing politics on the insecurity situation in Laikipia.

“His work is independent. He has a constitutional mandate to provide security. The problem in the country is that whoever is supposed to take care of security is playing politics with security,” Ruto said.

The DP’s allies later at a press conference in Parliament asked the IG to resign following the bandit attacks in Laikipia.

The 13 legislators accused the police of laxity in dealing with the crisis in the region saying the humanitarian crisis staged by the violence has exposed the incompetence of the police.

The government on Wednesday said it would resettle the victims of the attacks in Laikipia with Interior CS saying they would deal firmly with criminal elements behind the mayhem.

“We will crush them. It is only a matter of days and you will see how we will deal with them.

"These elements that are out to spoil the prevailing peace and stability in the region will not have space in our country anymore,” Matiang’i said.

The state says that the attacks were politically instigated and thus an act of a few individual politicians using the violence to make 2022 campaign pitches.

As of Wednesday, eight people had been killed in the attacks, among them two security officers.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)