Treasury to pay Kenyan herders Sh53m in Tanzania cow seizure row

Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Treasury is expected to offer Namanga herders Sh53 million as part of the compensation for the confiscation and auction 1,400 cattle by Tanzania authorities in a sale that sparked diplomatic tension with Dar es Salaam.

Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito disclosed the payout at Oloitokitok during the Jamhuri Day celebrations on Tuesday.

The 1,400 cattle auctioned in Tanzania after trespassing into the country came from Kajiado South followed by a tough talk by President John Pombe Magufuli.

“We are thanking Jubilee for this gesture. It is a relief to our people,” said the lawmaker.

Reacting to the controversy generated by the decision of a Tanzanian court to auction the cows belonging to Kenyan Maasais, Mr Magufuli said his government would not hesitate to take the same action, should Kenyan cows be found grazing in Tanzania. The cows had been confiscated for grazing across the border.

The Tanzanian President said his country followed the law by impounding and auctioning the cows.

Kenya argued that restricting the movement of herders across the border would be a near-impossible because the communities living along the border were related and as such both Kenya and Tanzania needed to develop a mutual understanding to avoid further conflicts.

“Herders should not be punished for an omission that is not in their making. We hope Tanzania will allow our brothers and sisters on the border to continue visiting each other,” Foreign Affairs secretary Amina Mohamed said earlier.