The Samburu East Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Pius Mugambi and his Isiolo counterpart, Mohamed Maow have given chiefs and elders from Waso Sub-County to produce stolen goats and sheep in two weeks.
Speaking at a security meeting at Archers’-post trading centre on Tuesday, the administrators said that cases of livestock theft are on the rise and warned the perpetrators that the government will arrest and prosecute them.
“Rustlers should be warned that the government will not condone criminal activities where wrongdoers are enriching themselves with innocent people’s property,” said Mugambi.
He said that already a chief from Serolipi area had been interdicted for hiding 24 criminals who stole 850 goats and sheep which are yet to be recovered.
He said that lorries carrying livestock from Marsabit, Laisamis, Merile and Merti would be escorted by security officers and more police posts would be established along the corridors that are commonly used by the criminals.
Mugambi urged chiefs and non-governmental organizations to spearhead in educating Morans against indulging in outdated cultural practices which led to increased poverty among the pastoral communities.
The Isiolo DCC, said that illegal firearms in herders’ hands were causing disharmony and suspicion among residents of Ngaremara, Burat and Merti due to attacks and counter attacks.
Maow said that after the ultimatum the government would use force to recover stolen shoats and directed chiefs and elders to speedup recovery process saying the government has all required manpower and resources to fight the menace.
The elders lead by Burat Member of County Assembly, Yarrow Hassan accused the Samburu East security team of laxity in dealing with cattle rustling where criminals known to them also escape without punishment.
The elders refused to take 107 goats and sheep that were brought forward for handing over, saying they preferred the original animals that were stolen and not replacement.
The elders asked Isiolo DCC Maow who led Isiolo team not to collect the animals on their behalf saying they are not theirs and they would not accept them.
A scuffle ensued during the handing over of the 107 recovered shoats at Archers’ Post police station, where Isiolo residents who accompanied DCC and area MCA refused to accept the livestock.
Mohamed Sheikh Muhammad, an elder who lost 150 goats said, “we will not take these goats as they are not ours, our goats were very healthy and of good quality.”
Muhammad said they were expecting 550 shoats stolen have been recovered and 107 which are dying goats, which disappointed them and the security team of three sub counties in the meeting.
By Abduba Mamo