Following an upsurge of cattle rustling in Nyambene region of Meru County, a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) has advocated the creation of a buffer zone that will shield the Meru northern communities from the bandits.
Antubetwe MCA George Kaliunga has asked the government to set up the buffer zone as a neutral area to separate the Igembe region from the neighbouring Isiolo County where bandits who have been terrorising cattle herders from the region originate.
Speaking to reporters in Meru town Wednesday, Kaliunga blamed disarming of reservists for the increased cattle rustling with the bandits taking advantage of the ongoing exams as most police officers in the region have been deployed to guard the national examination exercise.
The MCA mentioned Kulamawe area in Isiolo, Kachiuru area which borders Meru and Isiolo in North Imenti and Kina next to the Meru National Park as the major routes used by the bandits on their way to Meru.
About 169 goats belonging to Julius Ntarangwi, Kaberia M’Mberia and Henry Kabaya were stolen on Saturday last week by rustlers.
Kaliunga faulted the government for lack of a conservancy at Igembe but unfortunately five years ago efforts by the then Meru Governor Peter Munya to establish a conservancy in Meru County were frustrated by residents of Igembe North Sub County.
Addressing a parliamentary committee that was chaired by the then Bomet MP Ronald Tonui, the residents expressed their fear of losing land and said the idea was not beneficial to them.
Meru County began the process of developing a 640 square kilometre Nyambene Conservancy last year. According to Kaliunga, developing of Nyambene reserve instead does not bring the purported security.
“We don’t have a conservancy hence our police reservists were disarmed. The reserves were to serve as improvement on our security and curb cattle rustling in this region,” said the MCA.
By Kamanja Maeria