Written by Joseph Amunya Otieno
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The acting Lugari DC Richard Ajwang addressing a security gathering at Mugumu village. Photo I Joseph Amunya
The forestry department has been asked to foster good working relationship with members of the public in order to enhance peace in Lugari District of Kakamega County.
The call was made by acting Lugari District Commissioner Mr. Richard Ajwang when he addressed a security baraza at Mugumo village in Marakusi sub location of Lugari location.
He at the same time directed the forestry department to investigate and take appropriate action over allegations of corruption and criminal related activities leveled against its officers by members of the public.
During the baraza, residents living around Lugari forest accused police officers manning the station of gross misconduct, blaming them for uncivil behaviour ranging from unnecessary flogging of women and bribery to colluding with gangs of criminals in the area.
Threatening to stage a peaceful demonstration if the government fails to transfer or sack the forest officers, the enraged residents alleged that the officers were part of a gang of criminals that has consistently terrorize and stolen from them over the years.
In last few days area residents have sharply criticized and blamed its forest police officers over their involvement a crime in which about 15 people sustained serious injuries when a gang of robbers attacked villages in two separate but identical incidents last week.
However, Lugari deputy police boss Gregory Mutiso assured the residents that his department had received and was working on vital lead information and added that they were quickly closing in on the perpetrators of the recent incident.
Lugari forest zonal manager Mr. Stanley Mwangi promised that he had already launched investigation into the various complains raised by area residents and assured the public that the government will take appropriate actions against any officer found to have engaged in any forms of malpractice.
Mr. Ajwang urged people living near government forests to acquaint themselves with laws governing forests in order to avoid unnecessary conflicts between them and forest officials.
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