Narok Senator Ledama Olekina stirred the audience when he said that the Maa people had been sidelined and their plight needed to be addressed.
Olekina was explaining his utterances during the Saturday’s Building Bridges Initiative rally in Narok on Saturday.
The senator stirred the audience when he said that the Maa people had been sidelined and their plight needed to be addressed. Olekina called on the BBI steering committee to solve the land issues in the Maasai-dominated areas such as Narok, so that the local people could maintain a steady income.
“On matters of food security, what will our people eat if you take our land? They must remain as agricultural land, use legitimate process if you want to subdivide them,” said Olekina.
“So long as I live, I will pursue justice for these people who I represent,” he said. His utterances, which had already lit debate in social media got the backing of Kakamega Senator Cleopas Malala and Suna East Member of Parliament Junet Mohammed.
Malala, for instance, said that Maasai people needed to have a chance to produce more leaders in their areas for inclusivity.
“If we Luhyas in Western Kenya lead our people, and it happens in other communities as well, why don’t the Maasai people be given the opportunity to produce their leaders? It is not fair to fight for their few seats,” said Malala.
Senator Olekina remained unfazed and said that he was being misunderstood. He said he was fighting for the rights of his constituents whom he described as ‘children of a lesser god.’ He said.
“BBI has given us an opportunity to come out and air our problems. If people are not willing to handle the truth when we say ‘this is our problem’ then they don’t live in the 21st century.”
While explaining his utterances, which have been considered to be inciting, Olekina said that he was rather championing for re-look of land policy and not barring non-locals from settling in Maasai regions. He said that contrary to how his critics perceive him, he is not against any particular community.
“I have no problem with the Kipsigis in fact I have eight people from Kipsigis community working in my farm,” he said. He argued that non-locals were buying land meant for agriculture, subdividing it and selling the same to make huge profits.
For example, he said that in interior places, some people could buy land for as low as Sh70,000 per acre then they subdivide and sell for at least Sh350,000 per acre. Olekina said that the practice was denying locals economic progress the subdivided land cannot accommodate a huge population.