Pokot leaders condemn border killings

Governor prof John Lonyangapuo
Governor prof John Lonyangapuo

West Pokot County Governor John Lonyangapuo has faulted top security organs over security lapse along the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet, this is after five people have been killed by bandits within a month.

Addressing the press at Kapenguria, Lonyangapuo pointed out that the security officials have been reluctant to address the insecurity issue as the Pokot community continue to lose people, animals stolen, property destroyed and locals have been forced to desert their homes.

He said the Saturday attack where three people boarding a motorcycle were gunned down at Chesegon area has gripped tension in the area as he  questioned why the top security organs continue being silence instead of apprehending the bandits.

Lonyangapuo was saddened and appalled by the continued killings along the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties citing that his administration has invested heavily in programmes and projects aimed at achieving sustainable peace with education and cross-border development initiatives taking centre stage.

He pointed out that the construction of police station at Chesegon has taken long and yet people continue to suffer in the hands of criminals.

“We have lost more than 30 people as Pokot community since the year began, why did they have to gun down even school children, we chose peace the government told us to surrender illegal guns, we did it.” He said.

He alleged that young and old men have been armed in Elgeyo Marakwet hence questioned if the guns were returned when the government ordered the return of illegal guns or they are special people who cannot be disarmed.

He said shops and schools are closed because there is a lot of tension in the area as homes remain deserted.

Lonyangapuo condemned the killings urging locals not to retaliate but leave it to the security organs to restore peace and order.

“If there are politicians behind the killings will deal with them and they should be arrested.” He said.

West Pokot county commissioner Apollo Okello together with other county security leaders who attended the press address assured locals that security will be restored along the border and the criminals are well known and are being hunted to the latter.

He said five people have been gunned down at Chesegon area within a month and if the insecurity issue is not addressed promptly the issue might get out of hand

He said the criminals are living in the thickest and the locals submitted the names of three criminals who have been shooting innocent people.

He asked parents to allow learners to go to school citing that they will set up a temporary police post at Chesegon technical training institute where police officers will be doing regular patrols.

He said the government has plans to set up a police station at Chesegon after the initial one was swept away by floods.

“Let’s avoid retaliation we promise will not let you down but will protect you. The area has been experiencing relative peace but the Saturday incident is too unfortunate.” He said.

He urged political leaders from Pokot and Marakwet community to have a joint meeting to solve the ethnicity between the two communities.

He asked the leaders to choose peace but not revenge which might result to more casualties in the area.