Interior and National Coordination CS Dr. Fred Matiangi has warned leaders from Kerio valley against fueling, and inciting residents and funding cattle rustling and banditry activities in the region. Speaking on Monday at Chesegon centre in Sigor constituency during a peace meeting, the Cabinet Secretary urged security officers to arrest any leader found violating the law.
He said nobody is above the law and leaders were not elected to violate it. “Every leader must be accountable. We will arrest those inciting communities irrespective of the titles they hold in the community,” he said.
CS Matiangi also said that the government will review functions of national police reservists to avoid duplication of resources. He said the government cannot arm communities to protect themselves against another community. “The law stipulates that government firearms should be in the hands of police officers and not individuals,” he said.
The CS also said that the Ministry will review the deployment of security officers in the region to ensure insecure regions are protected.
He said within seven days they will plan and re-organise police officers to ensure that residents are protected.
He also pointed out that the government was going to conduct disarmament in the region to flush out criminals and bandits from the region. “We are going to conduct a joint disarmament in the region to mop up illegal guns in the hands of individuals,” he said.
He stressed that Jubilee government cannot allow the cattle rustling menace to continue happening in Kerio valley region since it has derailed development. He further tasked elders from warring communities in the region to sit down and lead dialogues. “Peace cannot be realized by guns, elders need to dialogue with each other and see how to end these conflicts,” he said.
Local leaders led by West Pokot Governor John Lonyangapuo called for joint meetings among conflicting communities. “We need to hold meetings together and come up with resolutions as a team that will help unite the communities,” he said.
Lonyangapuo called for plans to be set up to help end animosity. “Insecure areas don’t have security roads and the areas also need water and other infrastructural development to help spur development,” he said.
The Governor called on the government to establish a joint national police reservists camp along the border and urged residents to help in the initiative to establish security.
Local residents led by Mathew Koratum called for compensation to people who had lost close people and property in the conflicts.
Koratum accused the government of overseeing unbalanced distribution of police officers. “The government needs to set up equal police camps and equally distribute security officers along the border,” he said.
Other leaders present were the Principal Secretary for ASAL areas in the Ministry of Devolution Micah Powon, Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Education Simon Kachapin and MPs Peter Lochakapong (Sigor), Samuel Moroto (Kapenguria) among other leaders.