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Economy

Leaders reject dry port land deal with Uganda

Standard gauge railway train
Standard gauge railway train. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The deal between Kenya and Uganda over a dry port land in Naivasha has been opposed by local leaders who have vowed to block the project over a 78,000-acre disputed Kedong ranch.

Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has confirmed that President Uhuru Kenyatta had given Uganda land in Naivasha for the port, which the Maasai say was owned by their ancestors.

The dry port is part of the push for a joint standard gauge railway between these countries.

On Sunday, area MP Lemanken Aramat and two MCAs warned the government over the plan at a fundraiser in Oloirowua. Kedong Ranch Ltd, they said, is registered under the Kenyatta family but the land belongs to the Maasai.

The land touches Nakuru, Kajiado and Narok counties.

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Mr Aramat said the community will make sure the phase 2A of SGR does not continue until they get justice.

"We voted in this government, and we are in it with the hope that it would assist us but the community has continued to be oppressed mainly on land issues," said the Jubilee legislator.

“We are expecting the President this week at Kedong, but we are going to tell him to his face that the Maasai community has a lot of stake in this land, many families are settled there and they must be considered,” said Mr Aramat, adding they should not be deprived of “our birthright.”

“This is a volatile issue. The Maasai have lived in this piece of land since time immemorial and for anyone to ask them to move out is totally unacceptable,” said the MP.

“We shall not sit back and watch as our ancestral land is grabbed by the leadership of this country and we ask the President to stop the plan and initiate a dialogue with the community," said MCA Kipas Lengues:

“Any attempts to take away the land from the Maasai people under the guise of government projects will be resisted,” said Keekonyokie MCA Joseph ole Maloi.

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