Leaders in Laikipia County have asked the government to comb a forest in a private ranch to nab criminals who attacked and killed two public officers on Thursday evening.
Led by Governor Ndiritu Muriithi, Laikipia West MP Patrick Mariru, County Assembly Speaker Mr. Patrick Waigwa and a host of MCAs from the
region, the leaders told security agencies to act with speed and rid county of criminals.
The incident occurred in Laikipia Nature Conservancy at around 5.30 pm when their vehicle was sprayed with bullets.
Among those who were killed were a reinforcement officer Mr. David Waithaka who was driving the vehicle and Mr. Stephen Wambugu, a senior KFS forester based in Nyahururu town.
The three had gone to identify mature trees that were to be harvested at the conservancy that is owned by conservationist Mrs Kukki Gullman when the bandits struck.
Speaking to journalists in Nyahururu town Friday, Muriithi said “I wish to condole with the families of these gallant officers and assure
them that the loss of their lives will not be in vain. To the injured officer, I wish him quick recovery”.
He added “We want to state very categorically that we stand with security forces and that we expect them to carry out strict
measures allowable by law and extend their efforts, deepen it and make sure that these criminals are behind bars”.
He regretted that it was unsettling that criminals can carry out such a crime at a time that the county and national governments, as
well as political leaders have been making efforts to foster long-term peace and economic prosperity in Laikipia, Baringo, Samburu and Isiolo counties through the Amaya Triangle imitative.
“It is regrettable that while leaders from these counties are engaged in efforts to bring development and improve what we get from livestock in the region, other fellows continue with archaic traditions of stealing livestock and killing innocent people,” Muriithi said.
He reiterated that the government will not allow bandits to derail them from this noble cause adding that he is certain the leadership, the counties enforcement agencies must use all means allowed by the law to bring the culprits to book.
The county boss said that equally, wananchi must support and work closely with the security agencies in flushing out the bad elements.
Mr. Mariru and Mr Waigwa condemned the killings saying they were outraged to learn of the ambush.
“It is completely unacceptable for a criminal to kill public officers who were on official duties and walk freely. We have faith in our security forces and we are sure that they will deal with these criminals without mercy,” he said.
He also called on the Interior CS Dr Fred Matiang’i to have audience with the leadership from the region on the issue.
“We are told that they had a field day in all villages in the entire Githiga ward as they had swept livestock from all homesteads earlier on in the day,” Mariru said.
He added “We know that CS Matiang’i is capable of dealing with these criminals and that is why we are seeking his audience as we are
concerned that we have lost two public officers at the same place that we lost six security officers sometimes back”.
In the meantime, a contingent of police officers has been deployed to pursue the criminals behind the attack.
Laikipia County Administration Police Commander Benson Maweu said the officers have already sealed possible exit routes for the bandits
along Laikipia-Baringo border at the Laikipia Nature Conservancy.
Maweu noted that the officers, with an armored police carrier are pursuing the unknown number of attackers who had also stolen eight cows.
“This morning we held a meeting to strategize on how to tackle the armed bandits. We are optimistic of capturing them” said Mr Maweu.
Laikipia west sub county administrator Ikinya Matindi was accompanying the deceased’s when he was seriously injured after he was shot on the head.
The bodies of the deceased were moved to Nyahururu County Referral Hospital mortuary while the injured officer is receiving treatment at the same hospital and is in a stable condition.
By Mwangi Gaitha