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Gov’t considers reviving Police Reservists in Kerio Valley

The government is considering reviving the deployment of Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) in Kerio Valley under a restructured plan to ensure proper training and administration of the officers and accountable use of firearms.

Unlike in the past where a number of KPR were picked to guard their respective communities, the new KPR officers will be trained and deployed in an orderly manner so that they are properly remunerated and put under proper commanders as part of the National Police Service, according to the Rift Valley Regional Commissioner (RC) George Natembeya.

Speaking in Eldoret during a consultative meeting with political leaders from the region, Natembeya said the government wants to ensure proper management and supervision of the KPR especially on the use of arms.

“We want to revive the KPR who will be recruited from the communities in the Kerio Valley zone, but will be trained together and stay together in a barracks under better management of firearms and accountability,” said the RC.

He added that the reservists will be part of the National Police Service, (NPS) with powers and mandate like any other police hence the need to ensure they are managed properly in a structured command.

He however expressed concern over the high number of illegal firearms in the region saying the government will only consider returning the reservists after all the illicit firearms in the hands of ordinary wananchi are surrendered.

“Kerio Valley has a lot of illegal guns in the hands of ordinary citizens and the government will not be mixing its genuine firearms with illegal ones,” said Natembeya.

The RC at the same time said the government was committed to address the issue of boundary disputes in the volatile North Rift region that he noted had contributed to insecurity.

For a long time there has been procrastination in addressing the numerous boundary disputes in Tiaty, especially Kapedo, Baringo South, Mukutani and other parts in the Kerio Valley, he observed and said, “it is time the government bites the bullet now by clearly defining the boundaries to bring the conflict to an end,”

“But it should be clearly understood that these boundaries are purely for administrative purposes and are not meant to bar any Kenyan from visiting or settling anywhere in the country as enshrined in the constitution,” he added.

By Kiptanui Cherono

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