Private conservancies in Kenya have been warned against harassing Kenyans.
The Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala gave the warning today as he ordered Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to commence investigations in an incidence where Mordecai Ogada says he was harassed by armed private rangers belonging to Ol Jogi Conservancy in Laikipia County.
The Government of Kenya and my ministry will not condone any undue harassment or intimidation of Kenyans who are going about their normal businesses and enjoying their God given heritage by anyone,” says the CS in a statement.
The CS added that no discriminatory harassment of any nature in and around private conservancies and in any tourism facility in the country will be tolerated by the government of Kenya. Balala asks Kenyans to report any such incidents with facts for action to be taken.
In a Facebook post on 18th July, Mordecai Ogada narrated how he was threatened by the private rangers at gun point in the company of his kids. Below is the post.
“Black lives matter! This is the reality of Wildlife viewing while black in Laikipia colony. I was driving slowly down the public Nanyuki-Kinamba road with my kids watching animals and birds, when this Land Cruiser from Ol Jogi ranch KBK 184Q drove up with a fully armed security guy at the wheel and asked me who we are and what I was doing there. I calmly told him who I am, where I am from and that I am taking my kids for a game drive. The fellow told me to move on because I am not allowed to photograph wildlife along the road passing by Ol Jogi . I called bullshit and asked him what he’s going to do about it. The fellow radioed for reinforcements, stepped back and took the gun off his shoulder pointing it directly at me and my kids, saying that poachers are “people like us” (whatever that means). His colleagues quickly arrived in tactical mode, guns at the ready. Meanwhile I refused to get out of the car and threw my card at them, informing them that they shall be hearing from me. I refused to get out of the car, looked at them and dared them to shoot or back off, then one of them suddenly realized that they’re out of their depth. It was the hardest thing to maintain my happy Dad/ uncle demeanor for the rest of the game drive, but I managed and we got back home safely. We can’t take this nangsengs in our country with our children. This shit is going to stink. I start at the OCS Nanyuki on Monday. All channels, all authorities will be involved. We’re going to fix this shit. These plantations called conservancies have to back off”