Hundreds of Mugunga and Majengo residents in Lumakanda location, Lugari Sub County defied the government’s directive on social distancing as they came out in large numbers protesting against increased cases of livestock theft in the area.
Singing songs castigating the area security officials, the demonstrators who barricaded Mugunga-Lumakanda road with stones, logs and burned old tyres in the middle of the road paralyzing transport activities, expressed concern over poor security in the area that had led to the theft of dozens of livestock.
Besides the security apparatus being informed of the perpetrators they said they have chosen not to take legal procedure against them but were targeting locals to stamp out the vice.
“We have lost over 30 animals in a series of livestock robberies in this area,” said protestors who alleged that some of the suspects were being protected by security apparatus.
They said one suspect who was arrested in Uasin Gishu while transporting stolen animals from Mugunga named his three accomplices from the area whom they (residents) arrested and handed over to police but were later released for allegedly lack of evidence to prosecute them.
They alleged that after being released the suspects started threatening them, vowing revenge against those who played a role to their arrest.
Efforts by Lugari deputy county commissioner William Lenaremo to calm the situation were futile as the protesters first demanded to see area Sub county police commander and the DCI boss and they could not listen to the DCC saying they had lost confidence in the police department in the area.
They told the DCC that instead of protecting victims and carrying out investigations to the complaints raised, they were being harassed at the expense of suspects.
“If you want to know there is something fishy going on why hasn’t the OCPD and DCI accompanied you. We want them to tell us why we are being harassed when we go to report about animal theft,” said a protester.
Plea by the DCC to have 15 member representatives as required by the government’s guideline on COVID-19 so that he could help follow up the matter with the police department bore no fruits as the entire crowd demanded to be involved.
However the DCC who is the sub county security chair pledged to take action aimed at stopping the crime and ensure that peace prevailed.