Maasai Council of Elders deals blow to Ruto’s affordable housing plan in Narok

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 5 Jun, 2023 13:28 | 2 mins read
Maasai Council of Elders in a presser where they reject President William Ruto's proposed plan to build affordable houses in Narok. PHOTO/George Sayagie

The Maasai Council of Elders have rejected President William Ruto's controversial housing project terming it irrelevant to their Maasai community.

Led by the council Chairman Kelena Ole Nchoe, Joseph Ole Karia (council Patron), they questioned the intended beneficiaries of the houses saying it’s a ploy by the president's regime to settle outsiders in the county for political arithmetic.

Speaking during a meeting of all chairmen from the 8 clusters in Narok county, Nchoe said the Maasai community dwelled in rural areas and owned homes and there was no need to leave their homes for the apartments promised by Ruto.

“We are rural dwellers, we own homes, we have livestock, we farm to feed this country. How can we now change this lifestyle to come and be urban dwellers, will we come with our cows or our farms?" Nchoe posed.

The elders drawn from Narok North, South, West, East, Transmara West, East and South and have united to forge a united front to champion the rights of the community, denied claims that the community had donated 200 acres of land to the government for Ruto's affordable housing project.

Ole Karia emphasized that the decision to donate their land was misleading as the said land was under the Purko Development Trust which has a process to follow through the Purko General Assembly, which manages the land and is the only authorized entity to conduct transactions on behalf of the community.

The plans to build the houses come after an announcement by Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Public Works, Housing and Urban Development, Charles Hinga that the Narok County Government and the County Commissioner have identified land for the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) that was donated by the community.

Last week, Maasai lands activists threatened to mobilize the community to street demonstrations to protest the alleged donation of 200 acres of land belonging to the Purko Clan to the National government.

In a presser at the Limanet holding ground professor Meitamei Ololdapash said the land allegedly earmarked for the construction of the houses is a 100 acres piece of land in the Limanet area and another 40 acres at the Sheep and Goat land, all located in the outskirts of Narok Town.

The activists said the Purko clan has eight sections namely Mara, Mosiro, Naikarra, Lower Mau, Upper Mau, Melelo, Ololulunga and Naroosura whose representatives sit at the Purko General Assembly.

“To us, this project is irrelevant. Some of us do not live in these houses. Who are you constructing these houses for? If they were for us, there would have been public participation,” Dapash noted.

The two groups' stand contradicts a section of members of parliament led by EALA member of parliament David Ole Sankok and Kitilai Ntutu (Narok South) who assured the president that the community support the project since they want to move from their Manyatta,s to the houses when built by the government.

“We as the Maasai community are tired of living in the cow-dung-made Manyattas and want to live in stone houses and we support the housing project by the government,” Sankok said during homecoming of CS for Environment Soipan Tuya at her home in Leshuta where President Ruto and deputy president Rigathi Gachagua were chief guests.

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