Banditry: Baringo leaders halt campaigns
Leaders in Baringo County yesterday resolved to suspend all political activities amid the rise in bandit attacks.
The leaders said the security situation was dire and it was insensitive to continue campaigning while people were dying and losing their homes.
Governor Stanley Kiptis said service delivery in the county had become difficult as bandits were even blocking medical supplies to some areas.
“We have been victims of banditry attacks for long and our people are now living in camps like refugees. We need the national government’s intervention,” said Kiptis.
He said all political activities had been suspended until calm is restored. He revealed that at least 10 people had been killed in recent weeks.
“We have others in morgues and hospitals. Homes have been burnt in Arabal and Muchongoi areas. We want to condemn these criminal acts. This menace has been going on since 2005,” he said.
At a press briefing in Nakuru, Kiptis implored the national government to deploy the Kenya Defence Forces to bring sanity like it previously did in Mt Elgon and Lamu.
He observed that pupils who recently sat the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams had to endure the insecurity and called on the Kenya National Examinations Council to be considerate in marking the papers.
“As KCSE exams kick off, we need assurance that our students will be safe,” he added.
Baringo North MP William Cheptumo said many of his constituents had become internally displaced because of the attacks.
He called for humanitarian assistance to ensure victims do not starve.
The MP said politicians will hold a leaders meeting in Kabarnet on Friday to find a lasting solution.
“There is need to deploy more National Police Reservists,” said Cheptumo. “We have given names of the bandits who are terrorising us. Their locations are known. What are we waiting for?”
He called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to visit the county saying he has the powers to stop the menace.
Baringo South MP Charles Kamuren said leaders had put their campaigns on hold for the sake of peace in the county.
“We have visited the Interior Ministry offices, given our recommendations and what we think can work. However, none of them have been acted on,” said Kamuren.
Former Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi said leaders need to come together and find a solution.
Cheboi said events in Baringo were a serious violation of human rights and expressed concern that residents may not even vote in the General Election if the situation persists.
“ We call on the government and the international community to intervene,” said Cheboi.
East Africa Legislative Assembly member Florence Chematia said the bandits had mutated into terrorists who are targeting innocent people.