Camels graze near Isiolo-Meru border. PHOTO/PRESS POINT

Pastoralism is not a license to kill, maim and destroy but a way of life like any other business and needs to be so though it has now been turned to banditry and cattle rustling which is not welcome in today’s society.

A conflict involving agricultural farmers and pastoralists is sure to end up in death of the farmers as happened in the recent incidence on which pastoralists ended up killing nine people at Mweronkoro, Matabithi area at the Isiolo/Meru border.

Most herders are armed with sophisticated firearms while farmers are not armed with weapons except jembes and pangas.

This is the reason why Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi took the extra ordinary step to ban the entry of herders into his county.

It’s not the first time that herders have killed in both Meru and Isiolo and the government usually takes steps like driving off the herders from the disputed area to avoid further conflict.

Pastoralists and herders must dissociate themselves from criminal elements who hide amongst them to bring chaos. I am sure that most of these attacks are used by this criminals especially in Isiolo for practice and radicalization purposes since their activities are usually conducted in remote and inaccessible areas. This is a case for the Anti-Terror Police unit to look keenly at.

Most herders and pastoralists are uneducated lot and to them boundaries do not exist.

Governor Kiraitu has barred herders from crossing over to Meru. Simply put don’t go there.

I appeal to the governor and the national government for a peaceful solution to this conflict, it’s not going to be easy but it’s worth a try.

To the community of Matabithi, poleni sana and as Human rights defenders, we will push the government to arrest the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

Andrew Mola Ilere

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