Kitui: Security officers accused of laxity after suspected camel herders kill 2 in Mwingi

Saturday, December 17th, 2022 15:11 | By
Kitui county Commissioner, Erastus Mbui addressing locals at Kathungu market matters peace on Friday PHOTO/Linah Musangi

A section of Kitui leaders led by County Commissioner Erastus Mbui has held a peace meeting in Mwingi central after two were killed this week by suspected camel herders.

The meeting saw the security team from Mwingi North and Mwingi Central converging to come up with a solution after the herders killed two.

Despite a directive by Eastern Regional commissioner Evans Achoki to drive all camels away two months ago, over six people have lost lives. In contrast, scores have been left injured in parts of Mwingi North, Mwingi East, Kitui East and Kitui South.

The team held meetings with locals from Kathungu, Mwanzele, and Ukasi in Mwingi central to come up with a solution to the recurrent camel invasion for over 40 years now.

During the meeting, locals said they are spending cold nights in the bushes for fear of attack, while others cannot cultivate their farms, too after camels evicted from Kitui South and Mwingi North were driven into their farms.

They also accused the security team of being reluctant with National Police Reservists deployed in the area sleeping on their job.

"The NPR officers have been of no help. Two people have been killed in one week, yet they are armed but are doing nothing," Mwaniki Mwendwa, a local, said.

He also alleged that once locals report the presence of camel herders and their camels in the locality, very little is done to evict them.

The county commissioner urged locals to stop taking the law into their own hands as the government was committed to ensuring peace in area after a camel herder was killed a day after camel herders brutally murdered two locals.

He also said camel herders do not invade private land forcefully, but some locals lease their grazing land to them.

Kitui county commander Leah Kithei said the complaints about the reluctant officers are taken seriously, and necessary actions will be taken.

She also pleaded with locals to keep promoting peace in the area.

Area MP Gideon Mulyungi said the laxity of security officers has led to sabotage of the exercise to maintain peace amidst camel herders' intrusion.

Mulyungi said the farmers' land is private thus, camel herders invading the privacy must be arrested and charged in a court of law.

The lawmaker also urged locals to be vigilant and ensure no strangers are within the area stating the two who were killed were not from within the locality but were said to be charcoal business operators.

"The people who are engaging in charcoal burning business in our forests might have clashed with the herders leading to their death, and this is posing a great fear to locals, " he said

The area MCA, Jeremiah Mutua, urged the government to flatten Mwanzele camp, located a few kilometres from the Kitui Tanariver border, where he claimed it is the hiding camp for the herders.

He said everyone's life was at stake, urging for immediate stern measures.

"Next time they might kill the MCA, no one knows. Let's all be on the lookout, especially the security team,' he added.

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