Former Laikipia North MP arrested

Arrest amid Laikipia unrest

Former Laikipia North MP Matthew Lempurkel

Former Laikipia North Member of Parliament (MP) Matthew Lempurkel has been arrested.

The former legislator was picked from his home in Rongai, Kajiado County on Wednesday morning by officers attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

He was then taken to the DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road where he is said to have undergone questioning.

Reports indicate that the former legislator was arrested over involvement in the Laikipia clashes.

The arrest sparked unrest among the MP's supporters who gathered outside the DCI headquarters seeking his release.

He was later escorted by armed officers to the Milimani Law Courts.

Lempurkel past arrest

Lempurkel is not new to controversy, having been accused of being behind the murder of Tristan Voorspuy, a British national who was found dead in his Sosian ranch in 2017.

Prosecution could not go ahead with the case after admitting to not having enough evidence of the charge.

In March 2018 he was arrested and accused of incitement to violence in the Laikipia region.

Laikipia Police boss Simon Kipkeu accused of Lempurkel of inciting the local communities to fight against each other.

"The same government saying there is no land for Samburus to graze in Laikipia County spent billions buying Waitiki land in Mombasa to settle people," Lempurkel stated at the time.

The former ODM MP is reported to have called on his community to occupy private ranches during the drought season.

“We have enough evidence that he incited the communities to turn on against each other. In fact, he particularly pointed out that two communities living in the area, must evict two other communities for they had taken over their land,” the police commander stated.

The former MP has on several occasion been arrested and arraigned in court over incitement-related charges.

The expansive Laikipia county has recently faced banditry attacks as armed attackers have invaded private ranches, leaving four people dead.

Raila on Laikipia clashes

In February 2017, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga blamed the then Laikipia clashes on a failure by government to implement the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission's (TJRC) report.

Raila was speaking at Maralal town where he said historical injustices committed in 1966 are well stipulated in the report yet the President has failed to resolve them.

"The report was handed to President Uhuru Kenyatta in May 2013. Had he acted on it, the land trouble facing Samburus in Laikipia would have been avoided," he stated at the time.

TJRC was set up in 2008 after Kenya’s post-election violence and sought to address the cause and effects of historical injustices and gross violations of human rights, contributing towards national unity, reconciliation, and healing.

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