The jump in revenues collected at the Masai Mara entrance gates since the introduction of electronic payment methods, suggests that grand theft has taken place in the past, when only a fraction of the present revenues were handed over to the Narok County Council.
Initially opposed by a small section of individuals with ‘connections’ who mobilized rabble rousers and went as far as raiding and destroying park gate offices, the scheme nevertheless went ahead, cutting those past ‘beneficiaries’ off an endless stream of cash, often paid in hard currency.
According to the stakeholders in the know, the December 2011 revenue collection saw the increase of 40%, while January collection jumped almost 50%. Said a regular contributor, who is also a senior stakeholder in the safari industry in Kenya: “Those who agitated against the new method of payment should now be asked what vested interest they had to incite mobs to come and burn park gates. Police should establish if or how they benefited from the disproportionately low collections in the past. If only half went to the council back then, that balance must be traced and accounted for. We enter a new period in our country now and impunity and stealing must no longer be accepted, tolerated. But that all said, only half of the road from Narok to Sekenani gate has been graded and we were promised a tarmac road last year already. Can we please also know when that is going to happen? Our cars are breaking down, tourists complain and when it starts raining after Easter you wait, vehicles will be stuck again. That also must see action and no more excuses from minister and bureaucrats.”