Narok County Commissioner George Natembeya has indefinitely suspended the surveying and demarcation of the controversial 64,000-hectare Naroosura Group Ranch.
The move came after two factions clashed at a meeting called to resolve a row over sub-division of the land.
Mr Natembeya also ordered the local criminal investigations office to look into claims by one faction that they have been swindled out of millions of shillings in survey and land adjudication fees.
“I condemn the clash, but I also blame the committee for the way they conduct their business.
“They should always provide progress reports to the members since they are only trustees. So I order everything to stop until this dispute is resolved,” he said.
On Wednesday, there was tension at the ranch after a meeting convened by the area security committee, led by Mr Natembeya, turned rowdy as the two factions exchanged bitter words and charged at each other as the administrator watched from a distance.
Trouble started when the faction allied to the group ranch committee, which is entrusted with sub-dividing the ranch among members, protested the presence of area member of county Assembly Stephen ole Kudate, whom they claim is inciting some members against the committee.
Police officers called to provide security had a rough time as the two groups brandished rungus.
They were forced to form a circle around the MCA and his wife, Soipan Kudate, who is the county woman representative.
Eventually, the faction led by the group ranch chairman David Kasare, and his officials, left in protest, saying they could not share the podium with the MCA and his team.
As the drama unfolded, Mr Natembeya kept his distance as the sub-county commissioner, Ali Duba, made frantic efforts to restore order.
Meanwhile, Ms Kudate appealed to Mr Natembeya to ask the national government to have private surveyors demarcate and sub-divide the land for free.
“I call on the committee to stop intimidating people and, since they have failed to work for the people, they should go,” Ms Kudate said.
The group led by the MCA also tore into the committee, accusing it of disinheriting widows, the youth and the aged, and called for a stop to the ongoing surveys.
“The officials have hired a private surveyor to demarcate the land against the members’ wishes. We want all these surveyors to pack up and go, until we agree on the way forward,” said Mr Kudate.
A resident, Mr Davies Neliang, said the committee does not issue receipts for money it receives from members.