‘Leave or face forceful eviction,’ – CS Kindiki issues stern warning to camel herders invading Kitui
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has ordered all illegal herders in Kitui county to leave or face forceful eviction by security forces.
Speaking in Mandongoi Primary School, Mwingi, the tough-talking CS said illegal camel herders from the Northern region who have invaded various parts of Kitui county had subjected locals to untold suffering due to frequent attacks that have left two people dead.
Kindiki said the government will deploy enough security in the county to deal with the 'criminals', who have been grazing their camels on farms without consent from landowners.
"We won't entertain any cases of insecurity in this area...I want to challenge the criminals who think they have better weapons, better tactics and instruments of violence than the government of Kenya that we are coming for you," Kindiki said.
"I am ordering that all grazers and herders who have been grazing in this area and don't come from here return to their homeland. County Commissioner let me know how many officers we need to implement that order. We are not going to negotiate with criminals," he added further warning residents against violence.
The CS also ordered the immediate recruitment of 250 police reservists to enhance security in the area.
With the ongoing rains, Kindiki said, the herders have no reason to provoke conflicts with residents by encroaching on farms in search of pasture and water.
Kindiki spoke weeks after a security committee led by Eastern Regional Commissioner Evans Achoki and his North Eastern counterpart James Kianda gave hundreds of herders who have invaded the county 10 days to leave.
Speaking at Kasiluni market after a peace meeting between local residents and the camel herders from Garissa county last month, Achoki said the herders had agreed to vacate farms and allow owners to prepare their land for farming.
“We have had lengthy discussions with both Garissa and Mwingi North peace committees and have agreed to bring this matter to an end, both teams have agreed to work together so this will be a thing of the past,“ Achoki said.
“We have been informed that some farmers have leased their farms to the herders but herders go ahead and invade so many other farms without consent,” he added.
The police boss said a clear guideline had been agreed upon when herders again travel to graze their camels in Mwingi North to avoid tension among camel herders and residents.
“We have agreed that next time camel owners must inform the authority and peace committee as well as availing veterinary certificates and names of herders so that the committee knows the camel owner and the herder and for how long they will be grazing in the area,” he added.
Achoki warned residents against harming and killing camels and instead, asked them to report cases of trespass to authorities for action.
“Stop killing camels, it’s against the law and anyone found doing so will face the full force of law,“ he stated.