Politicians on the spot for allegedly abetting banditry
Politicians from the banditry-prone North Rift are on the spot for allegedly aiding and abetting bandits terrorising residents across the region.
The rampant cases of insecurity have left more than 60 people dead in the past three months alone.
Residents from the volatile region now want some local politicians, whom they claim are abetting the crime, investigated.
Their concerns came recently when Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i toured the region, where members of the public hit out at politicians fuelling conflict in the region.
Matiang’i acknowledges that the rampant cases of insecurity is no longer about cattle rustling but seems to have been commercialised by well-connected individuals.
“We are in hot pursuit of certain people including leaders. We will act decisively to ensure those facilitating this illegal venture face the full force of the law. It does not matter how long it will take us to achieve this,” warned the CS when he spoke in Nakuru on Friday.
Investigations reveal that some unscrupulous traders and politicians have devised new ways to enrich themselves from illicit trade in stolen livestock.
“By the time the stolen livestock reach their destinations, they have already been split among the beneficiaries. This explains why stolen livestock are rarely recovered during raids,” a source who sought anonymity told People Daily.
It is alleged that by the time a raid takes place, the bandits, who work in cohorts with unscrupulous traders and politicians, have already secured market.
Politicians are said to buy the animals at throwaway prices and make a kill in other markets.
Residents have challenged politicians from warring communities to be in the forefront in preaching peace.
“They should put aside their political differences and tour the affected areas and preach peace,” said Kevin Kemboi, a resident of Chesongoch in Elgeyo Marakwet county.
Residents have proposed that hefty fines be imposed on communities that raid others for livestock as a deterrent measure to the perpetrators.
“More schools should also be opened at the porous borders to discourage herders from engaging in retrogressive cultural practices and embrace education,” said Patrick Komen, a resident of Tot.
Residents have decried upsurge in illegal firearms and called on the government to roll out a massive disarmament exercise, which they argue is the only lasting solution to perennial conflicts in the region.
Matiang’i has since ordered for the immediate arrest of people inciting herders to turn against each other and those said to be funding the conflicts for selfish political gain.
“We will no longer condone any form of lawlessness. We will arrest all the perpetrators and ensure that we seize all firearms in the wrong hands,” warned Matiang’i.
People Daily has since established that cases of stolen livestock being impounded along major roads, especially along Marigat-Nakuru road have increased in the recent past, putting security personnel manning these busy roads on the spot.
According to the Interior CS, investigations have already been launched to establish if some senior Government officials, security personnel and prominent individuals were behind the new spate of insecurity.
“Those found culpable irrespective of their status or position will face the full force of the law. We will not tolerate any form of lawlessness,” warned Matiang’i.