Maasai Council of Elders has rejected President William Ruto

The Maasai Council of Elders has rejected President William Ruto's contentious housing project because they believe it is irrelevant to the Maasai people.

They questioned the intended recipients of the homes under the leadership of Council Chairman Kelena Ole Nchoe and Council Patron Joseph Ole Karia, alleging that the president's administration was settling strangers in the county for political calculations.

Nchoe said the Maasai group lived in rural regions and owned houses; therefore, there was no need to abandon their homes for the flats Ruto had promised. He was speaking at a gathering of all the chairmen from the eight clusters in Narok County.

"We farm to feed our nation. We own houses, keep animals, and live in rural areas. How can we now alter our way of life to move into the city? Will we bring our farms or our cows?" Nchoe stated.

Elders from Transmara West, East, and South, as well as Narok North, South, and West, who have come together to form a unified front to protect the interests of the community, refuted reports that they had given 200 acres of property to the government for Ruto's affordable housing project.

Ole Karia emphasised that the choice to donate their land was deceptive because it was managed by the Purko Development Trust, which has a procedure to follow through the Purko General Assembly, the only body with the authority to transact on the community's behalf.

Following Charles Hinga, Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Public Works, Housing, and Urban Development's announcement that the Narok County Government and the County Commissioner had chosen the land for the Affordable Housing Programme (AHP) that was donated by the community, plans to construct the homes have been made.

Last week, Maasai land activists vowed to organise the neighbourhood for public protests in response to reports that the Purko Clan had allegedly donated 200 acres of property to the national government.

Professor Meitamei Ololdapash said at a press conference at the Limanet holding area that the property purportedly designated for the building of the dwellings is a 100-acre plot in the Limanet region and an additional 40-acre plot at the Sheep and Goat Field, both of which are situated on the outskirts of Narok Town.

The Purko clan, according to the activists, is divided into eight divisions: Mara, Mosiro, Naikarra, Lower Mau, Upper Mau, Melelo, Ololulunga, and Naroosura. These sections' representatives are seated in the Purko General Assembly.

"This project means nothing to us. Not all of us reside in these homes. For whom are these homes being built? Public engagement would have occurred if they had been on our side," Dapash observed.

The positions of the two groups are in opposition to a group of lawmakers, including David Ole Sankok of the EALA and Kitilai Ntutu of Narok South, who guaranteed the president that the local population would back the project because they planned to move from their Manyattas to the houses once they were constructed by the government.

Sankok made the statement at the reunion of CS for Environment Soipan Tuya at her home in Leshuta, where President Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua were the chief guests. Sankok stated, "We as the Maasai community are tired of living in the cow-dung-made Manyattas and would like to live in brick homes. We support the housing initiative that the government is putting into place."

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