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Balala directs KWS to probe Ol Jogi Ranch harassment claim

Tourism Secretary Najib Balala
Tourism Secretary Najib Balala. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has until tomorrow to conclude investigations into the alleged harassment of an ecologist and his children by armed private guards at the Ol Jogi Ranch in Laikipia.

Tourism Secretary Najib Balala ordered the KWS to furnish him with a report of the alleged incident involving Dr Mordecai Ogada at the wildlife conservancy on Sunday.

Dr Ogada, a campaigner of indigenous rights in conservation who co-authored the Big Conservation Lie with journalist John Mbaria, said he was attacked by the guards who tried to stop him from taking photographs of the wildlife while on a game drive with his children in the ranch.

The ecologist said the guards drew their guns and threatened him saying he was not allowed to photograph the wildlife while driving on the public Nanyuki-Kinamba road.

“The government of Kenya and my ministry will not condone any undue harassment of Kenyans who are going about their normal businesses and enjoying their God-given heritage by anyone,” Mr Balala said yesterday.

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Dr Ogada's social media post about the incident caused an uproar.

Ol Jogi is a private wildlife conservancy in Laikipia County sitting on an estimated 58,000-acre piece of land.

Mr Balala added that he will take action against private conservancies that will be found harassing locals around the facilities that are exclusive and out of reach of most low-income earners.

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