The county government of Nairobi says it has detained about 500 cattle belonging to Maasai herders after conducting arrests over the last one month.
Speaking to the Nation by phone on Tuesday, county executive in charge of Agriculture and Livestock Development Mr Danvas Makori said they have been carrying out operations across the county following complaints from residents about the livestock leading to the arrests.
Mr Makori said the county inspectorate team carried out operations in Lang’ata, Westlands along Waiyaki Way, and along Mombasa Road leading to the arrests of the herders who have been grazing in the city without permits contrary county by-laws.
“We try to enforce our laws everywhere as it is illegal to graze in the city without license. We had an operation in Westlands, Lang’ata and Mombasa road,” said Mr Makori.
He said that the cattle are being held at the county’s yard in Dagoretti Corner where the herders who come to claim them are in turn arrested and taken to court. So far, 10 arrests have been made.
The executive officer said the county has been having challenge of arresting the herders as most of them flee from the county askaris leaving them with the cattle.
“According to the law, you are supposed to arrest both the herder and the cattle but the challenge is that the herders often flee leaving their cattle behind,” he said.
He added that the confiscated livestock are first checked for diseases before being quarantined in order prevent the spread of diseases.
Mr Makori said most of the cattle are from the neighbouring Kajiado County due to the scarcity of grass occasioned by the poor seasonal rains experienced in the country last year forcing the herders to venture into Nairobi in search of pasture.
He, however, said that the county has been in touch with the county government of Kajiado over the issue but that the arrests will continue if the situation does not change.
“We have notified the Governor of Kajiado, Joseph ole Lenku, but then our responsibility is to the people of Nairobi who are not happy with cattle roaming the streets,” he said.