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Residents Feast On Maasai Cows For Grazing On Their Crops

By Tervil Okoko, PANA, 2 August 2000

NAIROBI, Kenya (PANA) - A group of Maasai pastoralists who had invaded a private farm in the suburbs of Nairobi got a rude shock of their lives Tuesday when a group of residents set upon their animals to make a feast in retaliation.

More than 10 cattle belonging to the pastoralists were killed and 20 injured as the villagers did slaughter the cows and looted the meat as the herdsmen watched in disbelief.

It was also party time for the village dogs as they scrambled for the leftovers.

Due to the raging drought that has reduced Maasai grasslands into perched earth crust, the pastrolaists have invaded several farms in central parts of Kenya and around Nairobi.

Some have even dared the devil to take their animals into the city to graze on vegetable leftovers and flower gardens.

The attack, which occurred at dawn in Kiwanja village, near Kenyatta University in the suburb of Nairobi, is said to have been undertaken by farmers who claimed the cattle destroyed their maize and banana plantations.

The farm owner, Jospeh Peria, said that he woke up at 3 AM only to find that herds of animals had strayed into his farm, foraging on his crops.

He complained to have lost all his maize and banana crops which were both nearing maturity.

"I heard screams and that is what woke me up as the residents attacked the animals to get meat," he told PANA.

Peria said the residents must have been angered by what they view as arrogance by the Maasai herdsmen to graze their cattle in their platantions.

However, there must have been those (people) who took the advantage of the situation to loot meat, he suggested.

Peria said more than 500 animals from Kajiado (about 43 miles South of Nairobi) have invaded the ranch over the past two weeks.

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