On Tuesday, September 14, business was at a standstill in Rumuruti town in Laikipia County after a section of locals started beating up and chasing away pastoralists from the livestock market.
Farmers clashed with herders in the town, accusing them of illegally and forcefully grazing in the Marura area.
The angry protestors claimed that the pastoralists who had come to the livestock market had for a long time been grazing in their farms and destroying crops.
“They are doing this with impunity and they are armed with bows and arrows. Some even have guns. Before they infiltrate this area and cause the chaos they are causing in Ol Moran, we have to chase them away,” the residents protested.
The angry residents blocked the roads and set ablaze several motorcycles they suspected belonged to the pastoralists.
Rumuruti Business Community Association Chairman Frederick Mwangi, indicated that the herders had been in the area for two weeks and had consistently been allowing their animals to destroy the residents’ crops.
The protestors stated that they decided to block the roads to keep away the herders since they have caused them huge losses.
The residents argued that the herders did not want them to send away the animals from their farms and if they did, they would be attacked.
They narrated the scenario of one farmer who tried to drive the animals from his maize farm but was attacked by the pastoralists who had armed themselves.
Speaking to the media this afternoon, the locals argued that they were afraid the pastoralists would cause more insecurity in the troubled county.
“Another farmer who had gone to the area to pick farm produce on his motorcycle was attacked and the motorcycle destroyed,” Charles Mbatiah, one of the residents noted.
They now demand that the pastoralists get a different grazing location.