Tension as youths attempt to invade Kedong ranch

A section of the fence destroyed by invaders at the expansive Kedong Ranch farm on the outskirts of Naivasha.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

Tension is high at Kedong ranch at the border of Narok and Nakuru counties, after a group of rowdy youths attempted to destroy the fence.

According to Narok County security agencies, police used teargas to disperse the youths.

"We received reports that some members of the youth from the neighbouring community planned to invade the more than 75,000-acre expansive land and destroy property. We deployed anti-riot officers from 6am. They thwarted the attempt by the youths to invade the land," said County Commissioner Isaac Masinde.

The administrator said security agencies were monitoring the situation, which he said was calm.

Mr Masinde's report, however, appeared to contradict that of police, who claim that the invasion was as a result of a dispute between two groups that differed over money collected from sand harvesting.

Narok East Sub-County Police Commander Jared Marando said police on patrol came across a group of about 150 rowdy men armed with rungus and swords near the Ketraco junction on the Narok-Maai Mahiu road.

"It was established that there were two groups who were in dispute over money collected from lorries after the sale of sand," said Mr Marando. 

The youth were, however, teargassed and forced to disperse.

"There were no casualties reported on either side. The area is currently calm and police officers from both Naivasha and Narok East are on the ground," said Mr Marando.

Kedong ranch has been an emotive issue locally, with the pastoral Maasai community claiming ownership of the ranch.

Early this year, on his maiden visit to Narok since he was elected, President William Ruto had promised to ensure that the community gets justice as far as Kedong is concerned.

Part of the ranch hosts the dry port established by former President Uhuru Kenyatta in his second term in office.