, MARAKWET, Kenya, Apr 19 – Co-operative Development and Marketing assistant minister Linah Jebii Kilimo has blamed inter-clan feuds over land ownership along the Kerio Valley on pending land cases in courts.
Mrs Kilimo said there were many land cases which were still pending in courts, thus leading to frequent feuds over land ownership among different clans in the area.
Reacting to an incident where members of the Katemuge and Kasegei clan fought over land ownership in Marakwet district late last week, Mrs Kilimo urged the Judiciary to speed up the hearing of all land cases which were still pending to resolve such conflicts once and for all.
The Marakwet East MP said it was the responsibility of elders to resolve land conflicts and asked the youth to keep off land matters.
“It is the elders who are well placed to resolve land dispute because they understand the root cause of such cases. They also know the boundaries of each land,’’ said Mrs Kilimo.
She said the Government still recognises the vital role played by elders in solving land cases, saying they should be given the opportunity instead of relying on courts which took long to resolve such cases.
“The youth should give elders the respect they deserve in resolving land cases especially in the Kerio Valley; that land is still owned by the community,” she said.
At the same time, Mrs Kilimo and Marakwet West MP Boaz Kaino have resolved to come up with a common agenda in the fight against forest destruction in Marakwet district.
The legislators expressed concern over the rate at which water catchment areas in the district were being destroyed and called for concerted efforts in the war against forest destruction.
“We have resolved to unite and come up with a common agenda in the war against forest destruction which has almost gone out of control,” said Mrs Kilimo.
The leaders said the future of communities living along the Kerio Valley was bleak following the destruction of forests in the highland areas of the district.
Mr Kaino said it was only through unity and teamwork among the leaders and residents that problems facing the community could be solved once and for all.
“It is a shame that leaders in other parts of the country have teamed up in solving problems facing their people but in Marakwet we keep on undermining each other’s work at the expense of development. We have now said enough is enough,” said Mr Kaino.
Mrs Kilimo asked the residents to shun leaders who were dividing them on political affiliations and support those who were serious on development.
They emphasised on the need for the residents to conserve water catchments areas, besides coming up sustainable forest management that will reduce deforestation and help fight climate change.