According to Tuko.co.ke, the country’s Ministry of Interior issued the directive this month and said the decision was reached in a bid to curb ethnic clashes being experienced each year in the area.

The directive affects three locations of Nessuit, Ndoswa and Marioshoni, all in Njoro.

Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui in whose jurisdiction the affected areas fall said when vast area of the land is covered by maize, it becomes a hideout for the young men who often conduct the attacks and burn people's houses, the news portal reported.

Not less than 19 lives have been lost due to ethnic clashes in the past two years including six people in 2018 and eight in 2020, hence the security agencies thought the best way to stop the occurrences is to deny the lawbreakers a hideout, which is maize farms.

"In the two episodes, we have lost not less than 19 persons. We would like to enjoy the peace.

"Once the crops begin to tassel, it becomes hard to monitor and curb crimes in the area. Attacks are experienced in the months of July all through to December when harvesting is done," Mbui said.

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The government through its interior ministry has tasked area chiefs and assistant chiefs to issue notices to the locals not to grow maize effective February to December 2021, warning anyone who violates the directive will face the rigors of the law.

Njoro is known for its predominance in Agriculture, so the ban will be a big blow to residents. But Regional Commissioner George Natembeya is reported as saying that the residents can cultivate other crops.

Meanwhile, some locals have raised objections to the ban, saying it violates their rights.

Reports say some of them had already prepared their lands, bought seeds and fertilizers in preparation for the season, while others have already planted the maize.

“We had already prepared our farms and ready for planting, the notices met us by surprise. We don’t know what to do with the seeds and fertilizer already purchased,” Lobolo Sironga, the Ogiek Council of Elder chairperson is quoted as saying.

He also lamented that the directive will affect livelihood because maize serves as both a cash crop and a source of food.