SENGWER MEMORANDUM TO PRESIDENT
THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD IMMEDIATELY BRING TO AN END
POKOT TERRITORIAL EXPANSION THROUGH CATTLE RUSTLING
IN THE NORTH RIFT VALLEY
Sengwer Ethnic Minority
P.O. Box 3894
Mwai Kibaki, M.P. CGH
President of the
7th April 2005
Your Excellency Sir,
Ref: CALL FOR YOUR URGENT ACTION
TO BRING AN END ‘TERRITORIAL EXPANSION OF POKOT TRIBE THROUGH
Excellency Sir, we the undersigned below members, elders and
leaders of Sengwer (Cherangany) an ethnic minority hunter-gatherer
indigenous peoples kindly request for humane intervention to bring
to end, urgently, territorial expansion of Pokot tribe through
is an ethnic minority hunter-gatherer indigenous peoples
characterized by marginalization, oppression, powerlessness,
mal-representation, unrecognition, landlessness, poverty, torture,
oppression, unemployment and discrimination. We are
hunter-gatherers, beekeepers and forest peoples.
indigenous community has been and continues to be a victim of
cattle rustling. The rustlers are and continue to be an organized
group of Pokot community.
of number of cattle have been lost and some community members
killed – while others are injured and have since become people
with disability. In this month alone over 5 Sengwer families in
Talau location have lost more than 30 cattle. Cattle rustling is
turning to a daily activity in Talau area with very little support
from security personnel. School children, farmers and elders from
the community (with machetes, arrows and clubs) have been
forced to pursue Pokot rustlers armed with AK47 Rifles and other
sophisticated weapons with very little support from police
April 2005 at around 4.3 p.m. armed Pokot rustlers (estimated to
be over 50) invaded Kapolet forest with whistles and gunshots
chasing old and young like children. It was a day to be
remembered. They strike Kapolet and stole cattle from over ten
Sengwer families. The rustlers overpowered three administrative
police officers based in Kapolet. A casual labourer was shot dead
during the raid. Hitherto, police and anti-stock theft unit
officers yesterday came to the Kapolet, but no assistance to help
recover the stolen cattle believed still hidden in Kipteperr and
Kapkanyar forests in Cherangany hills. The officers come and go
back to their stations. It is very frustrating.
Pokot community is using cattle rustling as a tool to chase other
communities in the region – they want other peoples land by
force in order to expand their territory. To support this On
28th October 2000 at Mtelo Hall in West Pokot district
when the COMMISSION OF INQUIRY INTO THE LAND LAW SYSTEM OF
, THE COMMISSION OF INQUIRY ACT (CAP.102 - LAWS OF
) visited the district to collect views. Sengwer community members
presented their views orally and written memoranda. Pokot leaders
threatened us. They said we are squatters and aliens to the
district. The leaders said they’d continue stealing cattle until
they are given their land in Trans Nzoia. Besides, they warned us
that they will steal our cattle as a polite way of saying get out
of the district. An Assistant Minister, Mayor of Kapenguria
Municipal Council both Pokot and many others threatened us. The
Pokot leaders said all these threatening words before the
Commissioners of the Land Review, the District Security Team and
other top government officials. No action has been taken till this
August 2004 at Kenya School of Monetary Studies during the ongoing
National Land Policy Formulation Process a Pokot leader who was
participating in the workshop said that Cattle rustling is
not cattle rustling but land rustling referring to
Cattle rustling by Pokot cattle rustlers.
indigenous peoples are asking
Is it the role of the government to:
Protect its citizens and property from internal and external attack?
Provide 24 hours security for all citizens of this country?
b) Why is the government discriminating Sengwer peoples:
When giving out guns to Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) and or Home guards?
Our neighbours (Luhya, Nandi, Kikuyu, etc) on the Trans Nzoia side (Kesogon, Kiambu, Munyaka, Mwireri, Makutano, Bonde, Kapsara, etc have KPR/Home guards with guns. Our community members are sandwiched between the Pokot and Luhya, Nandi, Kikuyu, etc. The first victims of Pokot rustlers are Sengwer peoples – why is then that the other tribes are given guns and Sengwer are discriminated
Sengwer peoples request that
rustlers:- The government should, urgently, bring to an end cattle rustling in along Cherangany hills along and around Trans Nzoia/West Pokot border; Trans Nzoia/Marakwet border; and West Pokot/Marakwet border.
Pokot rustlers are currently putting up in Kipeteperr and Kapkanyar forests in Cherangany hills – combined police force (AP, ASTU, GSU and General Police), well selected community members and with support from Kenya Army Copters should immediately get into Cherangany forests (specifically, Kipteperr, Kapkanyar and part of Kapolet forests) and force out the rustlers
Suspects:- Immediate action be taken by the government to arrest and convict known suspects behind the ongoing cattle rustling in Kapolet (Trans Nzoia) and Talau (West Pokot), Rogorr (in Marakwet). The administration have been informed of this.
Kenya Police Reservists/Home Guards - The government should recruit and give guns to Sengwer community members in Trans Nzoia and West Pokot districts as a matter of urgency. We require atleast 100 KPR both in Trans Nzoia, Marakwet and West Pokot districts.
Administration Police officers - More administration police officers be deployed in Kapolet assistant chief’s office in Kapolet forest station; Rogorr along Trans Nzoia and Marakwet boundary; Bahati in Sinyereri location in Trans Nzoia along Marakwet/West Pokot and Trans Nzoia boundaries; Talau chief’s office in Talau, Koipos chief’s office and Kapirech in Koisagat location in West Pokot district.
Anti Stock Theft Unit - ASTU officers in Kampi/Munyaka in Sinyereri location in Trans Nzoia should be increased and mandated to carry our daily patrol along West Pokot, Marakwet and Trans Nzoia boundary.
Radio Call Sets - The government to install radio call sets in Kapolet assistant chief’s office in Kapolet forest station in Trans Nzoia district; Kapirech in Koisagat location in West Pokot district and Rogorr/Kapterit in Marakwet district.
Security committee – The government should include representation and participation of Sengwer leaders in security committees from location, divisional, district, provincial and national levels.
Settlement of Sengwer in Kapolet –The government should complete the settlement of Sengwer community members in Kapolet forest.
Security meeting – We request the provincial administration to call for an urgent security meeting to be attended by DCs and MPs (from Marakwet, Trans Nzoia and West Pokot); Pokot, Sabaot, Sengwer, Marakwet, Kikuyu and Luhya leaders in Trans Nzoia, Marakwet and West Pokot
behalf of Sengwer ethnic minority indigenous peoples
Jacob K Tekeroi
David Yator Kiptum
Indigenous Development Project
Ronald K Kibowen
General – NISS
PS Ministry of
Provincial Administration and National Security
Justice and Peace Commission
DC Trans Nzoia
PC Rift Valley