North Rift leaders vouch for pastoralists’ education
Leaders from banditry-prone counties in the North Rift have come up with a raft of measures to curb the perennial insecurity menace in the region.
The leaders, drawn from Baringo, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet and Samburu counties, over the weekend cited education as one of the most effective ways to end cattle-rustling that has left hundreds of people dead over the years.
They said there should be mandatory schooling of all children under 18 years to stop them from engaging in retrogressive cultural practices like banditry.
Among other recommendations, Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich and MPs Joseph Makilap (Baringo North), Titus Lotee (Kacheliba) and Naisula Lesuuda of Samburu West want illegal firearms and ammunition seized from civilians.
They also recommended the deployment of the military to areas where armed bandits hide in the Kerio Valley and reinstatement of National Police Reservists (NPRs) who were withdrawn in 2018.
“The government should also reorganise security arrangements by moving police stations to county borders that have been branded the valley of death following frequent banditry attacks,” Rotich said.
They are also recommended that the national government introduces mandatory implantation of microchips in all livestock to ease tracking whenever they are stolen by armed criminals.
Makilap argued that the government should open up Kerio Valley by installing crucial infrastructure including security roads.
“NPRs are tempted to misuse their firearms due to poor remuneration. They should be given incentives as they play a crucial role in assisting security personnel beef up security,” Makilap added.
He went on: “Cattle rustling is no longer a cultural practice. It has been commercialised by some leaders who use it to ascend to leadership as they have been branded cattle rustling champions.”
Just like week, eight General Service Unit officers and three civilians were killed at the banditry prone Kakiteitei in Turkana county.
Their deaths brought to more than 50 the number of security personnel and at least 200 civilians killed in the region in the past one year alone.
During the incident, Mary Kanyaman, a peace crusader in the region, had managed to mobilise security officers from Lokori to recover her livestock, which had been stolen by bandits from the neighbouring Pokot community during a Saturday’s 2am incident.
Turkana Police Commander Samuel Ndanyi said the peace crusader was in the company of a patrol team comprising GSU officers, police reservists and general duty personnel that had left that morning to pursue bandits who attacked Ngikengoi village in Elelea sub-location, Katilia ward.
“Unfortunately, they were ambushed by armed bandits at Namariat near Kakiteitei village in Kapedo/Napeitom Ward. During the incident, seven GSU officers and a driver from police officers were shot dead,” Ndanyi said.
A car that was ferrying peace crusaders from Lokori to Kamuge village also got into the scene of the ambush and as a result, Napeitom Senior Chief Gilbert Lomukuny and Kanyaman were also shot dead, according to Ndanyi.