Boni community reject “outsider” posted as chief in the area

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Lamu, KENYA: Elders from the Lamu Boni minority community in Pandanguo village have rejected the move by the government to post an ‘outsider’ as chief in the area.

The elders said the government had picked a chief from a different community and wanted to impose him on them despite them having chosen their own candidate for the job.

They claimed the government was trying to play smart with them, having previously accepted the candidate they had picked for the job,a police officer as chief of Pandanguo.

The said candidate,Said Bwanambele who has already been approved for the job since June 2016 is yet to begin working instead his place has been assumed by a man who the elders claim is unknown to them since he belongs to a different community.

The elders however swore never to accept an outsider as their chief when the community had able candidates for the job.

They said the Boni community has been marginalized for decades and that many of their leaders have been handpicked for them without their consultation or involvement.

“We will not allow them to continue picking people and imposing them on us. We have a right to choose and in this case we have already picked a suitable candidate,dully qualified for the chief job but we still don’t know why he hasn’t been officially posted. But we understand now that there are plans as usual to impose a stranger on us but it won’t happen,”said Adan Golja.

They have urged Interior CS Joseph Nkaisserry to intervene and give the way forward on the matter.

They also complained that the current assistant chief who was also imposed on them after having been brought in from a different community has neglected them and no longer operates in the area.

“The assistant chief doesn’t stay here but in Witu;he rarely comes here. Most matters that require his attention have no one to attend to. We need people from our own community,people who understand our problems and who are willing to stay and help us not stranger who only care about the salary and the goodies that come with being a chief or an assistant chief for that matter,” said Golja.

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