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Tension high as youths attempt to invade a ranch in Kajiado



Kenyan media reported Thursday that tension was high at Kedong ranch at the border of Narok and Nakuru counties, after a group of rowdy youths attempted to destroy the fence.

Quoting Narok County security agencies, the Nation Newspaper reported that police used teargas to disperse the youths.

“We received reports that some members of the youth from the neighbouring community planned to invade the more than 75,000-acre expansive land and destroy property. We deployed anti-riot officers from 6am. They thwarted the attempt by the youths to invade the land,” County Commissioner Isaac Masinde was quoted as saying.

He said security agencies were monitoring the situation, which he said was calm.

His report, however, appeared to contradict that of police, who claim that the invasion was as a result of a dispute between two groups that differed over money collected from sand harvesting.

Narok East Sub-County Police Commander Jared Marando said police on patrol came across a group of about 150 rowdy men armed with rungus and swords near the Ketraco junction on the Narok-Maai Mahiu road.

“It was established that there were two groups who were in dispute over money collected from lorries after the sale of sand,” said Mr Marando.

The youth were, however, teargassed and forced to disperse.

“There were no casualties reported on either side. The area is currently calm and police officers from both Naivasha and Narok East are on the ground,” said Mr Marando.

Kedong ranch has been an emotive issue locally, with the pastoral Maasai community claiming ownership of the ranch.

Early this year, on his maiden visit to Narok since he was elected, President William Ruto had promised to ensure that the community gets justice as far as Kedong is concerned.

Last Monday, in an unprecedented act, hundreds of peopleinvaded a parcel of land owned by the Kenyatta family in Kamakis along the Eastern bypass, Nairobi, Monday.

Armed with crude weapons, and unrestrained, they spent the better part of the day inside the Northlands farm, felling trees with power saws, lighting fires and looting.

In scenes which sent shock waves across a city reeling from violent protests staged by Azimio supporters, the goons carried sheep on their shoulders, loading them into waiting cars and motorbikes.

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