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Bishops now want the government to evict illegal occupants from the Olorien wildlife corridor on the Kajiado-Makueni border to control elephants’ movement.
Bishop Solomon Kisemei said the only permanent solution to the Jumbo menace at Masimba is to clear the Olorien wildlife corridor.
“Fencing off the schools as promised by Interior CS, Fred Matinag’i, to stop the marauding elephants is not a permanent solution to deaths caused by the jumbos,” Kisemei said.
He spoke on Sunday at Makindu hospital after visiting seven people who were shot and injured by GSU officers Thursday last week.
Bishop Kisemei said area residents have not known peace since the wildlife corridor was invaded by land grabbers. “This corridor has been grabbed by senior people in government, who are untouchable and most feared by the provincial administration officials.
“The only solution is to let the land free to allow a free movement of elephants from Tsavo to Amboseli national park,” Kisemei said.
His sentiments were echoed by by bishops Richard Kuturai and David ole Matipei, who argued that fencing off schools from elephants will not stop the elephants from attacking children on their way home.
Kiturai said there are no teachers’ quarters in the seven schools that were closed last week over the jumbo menace. He said a teacher, Felix Kilaipae, was killed about nine days ago as he walked to his home from school.
“The government should not waste resources by fencing off schools instead of building teachers’ houses and opening up the Olorien wildlife corridor,” the bishop said.
He claimed that as clergy, they have made several appeals to the government to free the Olorien corridor from the land grabbers but their pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
About seven people in Makueni and Kajiado counties have been killed along the corridor as both communities fight over grazing fields. Pastor Joshua Parsen, who is also a local teacher, condemned the killing of the four demonstrators last week.
He said everyone has a right to picket and the Masimba killings should not be taken lightly by the government.