The business community in the border town of Moyale of Marsabit County have decried increased cases of robbery and attacks on traders that has hit the town in the recent past.
Local national chamber of commerce and industry (KNCCI) chairman Ali Noor Muumin said the incidents have left the business community a worried lot and asked the government to license them to own guns.
Speaking to the press Mr. Ali said even banks have not been spared and added a local branch of a financial institution reportedly lost Sh 56 million in a raid two weeks ago.
The KNCCI branch chairman appealed to the government to beef up security in the town which hosts one of the biggest and modern customs border points in the country.
“These insecurity incidents are disturbing because we have lost a businessman, another was robbed off Sh 600,000 while another one is fighting for his life at a hospital in Meru County following attacks by gunmen” he said.
Mr. Ali added that the security organs ought to devise ways of taming the crime wave noting that the gangs making the raids were using a neighbouring country as their hideout.
The official called on the government to consider issuing traders in the town with firearms for self-protection and enhanced security.
Marsabit County Police Commander Steve Oloo while assuring area residents of security and that of their property said security agents were on high alert and would strive to be ahead of the criminals.
Mr.Oloo said the situation is under control and appealed to residents to fully embrace the NyumbaKumi policing initiative as a sure way of eliminating criminals in their midst.
“This border with our neighbour is wide and porous but we are equal to the task” he said adding that strategies have been developed to deal with the situation.
County Commissioner Gilbert Kitiyo said it was the government’s chief priority to provide security to wananchi and their property and urged for their cooperation from the public.
Mr.Kitiyo added that regular patrols and security checks on motorists and travelers on the newly constructed Isiolo-Marsabit-Moyale highway was one of the measures in place to apprehend criminals and keep illegal aliens at bay.
The CC who is also the chairman of the county security and intelligence committee appealed for cooperation from members of the public in the fight against crime.
“The police and other security agencies require support from wananchi and I appeal to the residents to always lend a hand in the war against crime by exposing suspected criminals and strangers” he said.
Mr.Kitiyo said road blocks were being mounted not only on the highway but on all routes that can be used by criminals or aliens to sneak into the country to perpetrate crime.
By Sebastian Miriti