Residents protest the rising cases of banditry, insecurity

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West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin has urged residents to maintain the once existent peace relations with neighbours
West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin has urged residents to maintain the once existent peace relations with neighbours

Residents of Kapsang’ar and Kamelei areas along the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties have demonstrated over the rising insecurity and banditry in the area as residents flee the area to safer places following high tension in the region. More than 500 residents marched in the villages carrying twigs, urging security officers to search for the bandits and return the stolen livestock.

This comes after cattle were stolen at Kapsang’ar and Kamelei villages by suspected raiders from Elgeyo Marakwet County. Area leaders joined the demonstration, accusing security officers working in the area of laxity.

Leaders from the Pokot and Marakwet communities led by West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin, Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos and members of parliament David Pkossing (Pokot South) and Marakwet East MP Mr Kangogo Powen, the security team together with locals later held a meeting at Kamelei area and came up with resolutions on how to curb the escalating banditry in the area.

Governor Kachapin urged area residents to identify criminals in the area to ensure peace prevails in the area. “We have stayed in peace with our neighbours and we don’t want peace to be distorted,”  he said.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos urged the government to beef up security by deploying more security officers along the border adding that they will soon conduct peace prayers in the area. “We need to have prayers to end the animosity between these two communities but before that we need security heightened. We will not tolerate cattle rustling in this place,” he said.

Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos
Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos

The leaders said security officers entertain laxity and called for the sacking of top security officers in the area because they’ve failed to ensure security prevails. Mr. Pkossing urged the security team to ensure that stolen animals are returned to the owners.

Marakwet East Deputy County Commissioner, Mr Eric Wamulevu urged the government to add more police reservists in four locations to help pursue and nab cattle rustlers.

Wamulevu assured residents that police officers will hold patrols at night and stern action will be taken against those found loitering during those hours.