CTL holds community sensitization forums to mitigate electoral conflicts

Non-Governmental Organization dubbed Center for Transformational Leadership Kenya (CTL) has commenced a program aimed at addressing conflict triggers and ensuring cohesion in Nakuru County.

The program ‘the Kenya Electoral Conflicts Mitigation & Civic Education (ECCES) is supported by USAID Kenya through Act and UraiaTrust.

It involves holding community sensitization forums with an aim to mitigate conflicts and through addressing underlying conflict triggers.

Peter Rono from CTL says the sensitization forums are inclusive of Nyumba Kumi clusters, administrators and other organized groups.

Already such engagements are now taking place in Njoro, Molo and Naivasha sub counties in Nakuru.

Speaking during a such a forum held at Njoro AIC church, Rono stated that these conversations are community driven to find a solution.

In Njoro, it emerged that there were land issues among them succession, land grabbing and political interference.

“We have seen issues around land being a conflict trigger. Matters such as succession as well as land grabbing” he said.

Rono called on locals to embrace the program and be ambassadors of peace even as sensitization continues.

He added that the majority of conflicts can be addressed if individuals can start conversations even at family level, hence the reason for the sensitization forums.

“We need to start these conversations even at family level and this will help in averting the conflicts escalating” he said.

It should be noted that Njoro is one of the sub counties that have had perennial land conflicts for many years, in some cases leading to displacement and bloodshed.

The sub county has huge parcels of land that were initially owned by white settlers before they left and were sold to locals.

Parcels of land bordering Mau Forest has also been a bone of contention between the communities and the government.

In addition, misunderstanding between members of families on succession and inheritance of land has also escalated land conflicts.

However, through the CTL’s program, elders and senior citizens are now embracing the community conversations towards finding solutions.

The senior citizens have vowed to be ambassadors of peace and cohesion through community sensitization meetings.

Their main target in such forums are young people who are prone to be used by agents of violence and conflicts to cause havoc in society.

Led by Nyumba Kumi chairman Elkanah Aura said most conflicts are caused by inciters who want to achieve their own interests.

According to him, issues of historical injustices should not be used to incite individuals at community level.

While noting that Njoro is a cosmopolitan sub county, the Nyumba Kumi chair who also sits in the Council of area Chief said as elders they will continue to sensitize young people to embrace every community in the area as enshrined in the constitution.

“We have decided as elders in this area that we shall make things right from families to the community. We want to talk to our young people and sensitize them on the need for cohesion” he said.

Under the program, the elders are also looking at the future of young people even as land becomes limited due to rising population.

Their appeal to the young people is for them not to focus so much on the ancestral land but rather work to acquire their own.

Njoro Youth Leader John Njoroge on his part appealed to the government to step in through the shamba system to allocate land to the communities for farming.

Njoroge points out that there is need for more sensitization of the young people on cohesion for peaceful co-existence.

“We want to laud the senior citizens of this area for their effort in ensuring cohesion for the communities living in Njoro. The young people are key in matters of cohesion and should not be left out” said Njoroge.

CTL has been strengthening special interest groups’ participation in building social cohesion.

While noting that Nesuit, and Mariahsoni areas of Njoro have been prone to land, resource conflicts, Rono pointed out that there is a need for elimination of negative attitude of Kenyans on land issues and to cultivate the spirit of cohesion.

Area Assistant County Commissioner (ACC) Patricia Korir who attended the forum on his part pointed out that Land issues are sensitive hence the need for more sensitization forums to equip society with the right information.


MP Kathambi wants moratorium on issuance of title deeds in Njoro lifted

Njoro Member of Parliament Charity Kathambi has called on the national government to consider lifting the moratorium imposed on the issuance of title deeds in Nakuru, Kericho, Bomet and Narok counties.

The Lawmaker is seeking a statement from the Ministry of Lands on the same arguing that the moratorium has continued to affect farmers in Njoro sub County of Nakuru County.

According to Kathambi, farmers in the area cannot go on with their farming activities as they are not sure of the security.

She was speaking in Parliament during Tuesday afternoon session, where she urged the Ministry to come out with a clear statement on when the moratorium shall be lifted to allow locals get their title deeds.

Kathambi has also sought that the Ministry make a statement on measures in place to expedite the issuance of title deeds in Mau Narok, Mauche,Nessuit, Lare,Njoro and Kihingo Wards.

“Could the Cabinet Secretary state when the Government will lift the moratorium on the issuance of title deeds in Nakuru, Nakuru, Kericho, Bomet and Narok counties. Second, what measures are in place to fast track the issuance of title deeds in Mau Narok, Mauche,Nessuit, Lare,Njoro and Kihingo Wards in Njoro Constituency” stated Kathambi.

The interim Speaker Martha Wangari directed the matter to the Departmental Committee on Lands.





Serve to Empower Africa donates food to victims of hunger in Njoro

Over 20 families in the villages of Game and Kilo in Njoro Sub County of Nakuru County on Tuesday benefited from a donation from well-wishers as way of cushioning them from the adverse effects of hunger occasioned by drought.

Lenah Muiruri from Serve to Empower Africa during a donation of food to Njoro Villages.PHOTO/Courtesy.

The donation by Serve to Empower Africa included Maize flour of 15 Kilograms per family.

According to Coordinator of the program Lenah Muiruri, the initiative is mean to support the families that are affected by the harsh economic times following drought in various parts of the country.

“As an organization we decided to step in and support these families that are affected by the drought that has led to serious crop failure and hunger in the villages” she said.

Sentiments echoed by David Muchai.

He called on government to ensure relief food reaches to the most need persons who are at the grass root level.

“We have people going through hard times in the rural areas and villages and should supported especially during this time” said Muchai.

The locals who received the donations lauded the organization for such a gesture.

Led by Mary Wangui, they stated that this will go a long way in cushioning them against hunger.

“We are very grateful for this gesture. At least we shall have a meal and the donation will help us especially during this time when everything seems to be standstill” she said.

Officials from Serve to Empower Africa NGO with Njoro locals during the donation.PHOTO/Courtesy.

Under the Leadership of Chief Executive Officer Andrew Guuru, Serve to Empower Africa is an NGO focusing on families’ empowerment.

This, the NGO does through thematic areas among them Education, Health, Entrepreneurship, Water and Sanitation, and Community ties.



No learning at Egerton as lecturers down tools over poor remuneration

Learning has been interrupted at Egerton University after Lecturers on Monday commenced strike over what they term is failure by the Institution to pay salaries and allowances.

The move has left students stranded as the battle between the lecturers and University Council over pay continues.

Lecturers who addressed Journalists on Monday before launching their strike, accused the University Council for failing to implement the 2013-2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Led by University Academic Staff Union Secretary-General Constance Wasonga, they vowed to protest up to the Ministry of Education at Jogoo House Building in Nairobi.

“We are saying enough is enough and there will be no learning in this University until our concerns are addressed.As a matter of fact we shall on Tuesday move to Ministry of Education at Jogoo House to air our disatisfaction” said Wasonga.



Kathambi assures to work closely with constituents to accelerate development

Njoro Member of Parliament Charity Kathambi was on Thursday sworn into office to serve her second term.
The UDA Legislator made history in Njoro for being the first female MP and elected for two consecutive terms.
In her message after she was sworn in at the National Assembly in Nairobi, Kathambi assured her constituents of her resolve to facilitate the development of the constituency and the welfare of constituents.
She  pledged to complete all the projects that were commissioned in her first term.
“I will use the five- year mandate entrusted to me as MP to make sure resources are distributed fairly and equitably so that we can realize more developed Njoro” she said.
In her first term, Kathambi ensured development in the education and infrastructure sectors.
She also worked so hard on matters water services as well as conservation of environment in Njoro.
The MP has also been vocal on matters peace and cohesion on the border of Njoro and Narok.

Charity Kathambi retains Njoro Parliamentary seat on UDA ticket

Njoro MP Charity Kathambi Chepkwony has retained her seat.

Kathambi who contested on UDA ticket garnered 47,652 votes against competitor Joseph Kiuna of Jubilee who got 24,646 votes.

Kathambi now says her focus is to continue with development agenda she had started in her first term.

“I thank the people of Njoro for giving me another chance to continue with development agenda for this cosmopolitan constituency” she said.

It will be recalled that during UDA nominations in April, she floored four male aspirants.

Ms Chepkwony, who is a first-time legislator and the first-ever woman to be elected Njoro MP, garnered 18,340 votes to beat Mr John Kaniaru (3,455), Mr Johnson Mwamba (2,933), Mr Simon Chege (425) and radio journalist Njogu wa Njoroge who had 1588 votes.


Tension high in Ndeffo,Njoro over new demarcation beacons as locals fear being displaced

Tension is high among locals living in Ndeffo,Kihingo Ward of Njoro Sub County after officers from Kenya Forest Service and surveyors moved in to place new demarcation beacons on their land against the existing forest cutline.

The Locals who have been living in the area bordering Forest Reserve since the 1960s say they were not involved in any way during the process and now fear that the move will see them displaced.

They questioned the process wondering why area administrators such as Chiefs,ACCs and Njoro Deputy County Commissioner were not informed of the exercise.

According to them, it was wrong for Rongai Deputy County Commissioner to spearhead the process without the knowledge of the area local administrators.

Led by James Ndegwa Muigai,the locals are now calling on the government to come clean on the exercise and assure them security of their parcels of land.

“We are now living in fear because we just saw people with government vehicles come and started placing beacons.When we tried to question they said they were doing their job. We want the government to come and tell us the truth about this issue” said Muigai.

Sentiments echoed by Joyce Njenga who has lived in the area for the last 50 years.

The elderly Ms Njenga says the new beacons are now giving them sleepless nights since they are not sure of their fate despite having titles for their parcels of land.

Her cry is to the government through the concerned Ministries to step in and save the situation so as to avert conflicts.

“They have placed beacons even in my own land as you can see. Let President Uhuru Kenyatta visit this place and address the issue himself” said Ms Njenga.

Ndeffo Land Buying Company Limited’s Secretary Charles Mbugua condemned the government for trying to protect a private developer whom he claims altered the forest cutline.

He says the original map indicates that the Forest was the boundary cutline between locals and the forest.

Mbugua is now calling on the government to come out clean and explain to the locals why the same survey done in the past years is now being altered.

“We would like to know who is leading this exercise of placing beacons on peoples land. We would also like to know why the exercise is being done in secret without involving even our local administrators” said Mbugua.

Government warns individuals invading forest land

Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui has sounded a stern warning to individuals invading forest land.

Speaking during this year’s Mashujaa Day celebrations held at Davison Primary School in Njoro Sub County, Mbui was categorical that the government will not tolerate destruction of natural resources.

He noted that invasion will lead to more harm on the future generation hence called for communities living around forests to be responsible.

“Those who have invaded forest land be warned the government will not take it easy as it has a responsibility to take care of the same” he said.

On the perennial land conflicts in areas such as Nessuit,Mariashoni in Njoro sub cocunty, the County Commisionser has called for need for dialogue among leaders.

He says collaboration between the national and county government as well as elected leaders will find amicable solution.

While warning communities against tribal conflicts due to resources, Mbui challenged leaders from areas prone to conflict to work closely with national and county governments to end such and ensure development.

“Conflicts over resources will take us nowhere. As leaders we need to work and unite our people so that they can realize development in such areas where we have had conflicts” he said.

Nakuru Deputy Governor Dr.Erick Korir who represented Governor Lee Kinyanjui at the function rooting for the lifting of the caveats in Njoro Sub County.

He said the lifting will go a long way in ensuring that there is development on several parcels xof land in the area.

“We have had issues of land in this area but we are optimistic that the national government will lift the caveats so that residents can go on with their development issues which had been derailed for many years” said Dr.Korir.

He was responding to concerns raised by area leaders led by Njoro MP Charity Kathambi and several MCAs.

The celebrations were also attended by Nakuru Woman representative Liza Chelule who called on leaders to ensure unity ahead of the 2022 succession politics.


MP Charity Kathambi’s mission to make Njoro a better constituency

Charity Kathambi Chepkwony is a first time member of parliament for Njoro.

Though born and raised in Meru,Kathambi has Njoro at heart.

The vocal Nakuru Legislator has a Master’s  in Community  Development studies from Mount Kenya University besides BBA(Marketing option) from KeMU,Diploma in Sales and Marketing from University of Nairobi as well as Diploma in Clearing and,Shipping and Documentation.

Her first time trial in politics was in 2013 but she did not make it.

After re-strategizing,she came back in 2017 and won the Njoro Parliamentary seat on Jubilee ticket.

Her win supprised many male competitors who felt women had no room in politics.

But for the Njoro seat that was being eyed by five independent male candidates including former MP  Joseph Kiuna,Kathambi made her way becoming the first female MP for Njoro on Jubilee ticket.

Since her election,MP Kathambi been vocal on matters education,infrastructure,peaceful co-existence among communities in Njoro.

Kathambi has continued to ensure transformation of Njoro constituecy that has had scars of ethnic violence of 1992,1997 and 2008 as well as the recent 2020 skirmishes in Nessuit,Mauche and Mau Forest bordering areas.

In an interview with this writer,MP Kathambi is categorical that hers is to ensure a peaceful and transformed Njoro.

“I have a duty to unite my constituents and ensure development” she said.

The God-fearing Kathambi adds that her role as elected leader is to help correct the mistakes of past leadership by ensuring there is no discrimination against anyone on matters service delivery.

Under her leadership,already 30 classrooms have been built during the 2017/2018 Financial Year.

She has also been able to commission construction of 18 roads in the six wards of Njoro.

Kathambi also lobbied for the refurbishment of Civil Registration office in Njoro to allow residents seeking such services to get access easily without travelling to Nakuru town.

But even with the development agenda,Kathambi has not been spared when it comes to criticisms from her male competitors.

However,she says it will be mad if her to exchange words with her competitors.

“Time for politics will come,as for now,my focus is on development agenda for Njoro”she said.

Kathambi who is also a member of the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (KEWOPA) has been on the forefront in calling on National Government to come up with lasting solution towards ensuring peaceful co-existence among locals in Mauche,Mau Narok and Nessuit areas of Njoro.


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