The return for Kenya police reservists (KPR) in Marsabit County seems imminent as grassroots security agents petition the government to reinstate the service saying it plays a pivotal role in fighting armed banditry.
A peace cum security plan meeting held Saturday at the county commissioner’s boardroom also called for the involvement of more women in the on-going peace building process in order to give it the required incentive.
Chiefs and their assistants drawn from Marsabit central sub-county pointed out that reservists play an important role in protecting communities and their property.
The administrators who oversee security at the grassroots said with more information flowing freely from the residents on impending livestock raids by armed rustlers, the reservists were better placed to deal with the menace.
County Commissioner Paul Rotich directed the chiefs to accelerate the revival of Nyumba Kumi to ensure that there was smooth flow of information on security from members of the public.
In remarks made on his behalf by local ACC1 Richard Konga, the CC said the revival of the house clusters security model was mandatory and that the administrators should ensure that it was working.
The meeting suggested that 20 reservists be recruited in every location who should then undergo training to ensure they were up to the task of complementing the role played by local security enforcement agencies.
“This would enable us to get firsthand information about unknown visitors and strangers for action,” said the CC.
The proposal aims at helping in beefing up security in the sub-county and at the boundary with a neighbouring county from which cattle rustlers are believed to come from.
Other measures passed at the meeting that was facilitated by Strategies for Northern Development (SND), an NGO engaged in peace building programmes in the region, include increased security patrols on the Moyale-Marsabit-Isiolo highway.
A security patrol base would also be established at Kituruni area which is said to be an escape route for livestock raiders, a duty that KPR are expected to complement in a big way.
On peace building, SND programme officer Mohamed Wario said women were an essential factor in the process saying they were best placed to manage the healing process.
Mr Wario noted that peace was fragile among local pastoralist communities owing to factors like inadequate grazing resources and the ravaging drought hence the need to use women in cultivating healing and trust among locals.
He said his organization is planning to fund radio programmes on local FM stations by women to educate communities on the dangers of tribalism and the importance of peaceful coexistence between the many local ethnic groups.
“The objective is to build trust among communities and inculcate patriotism among our people” he said adding that strategizing for peace in boardrooms and hotels had its share of preference hence the need to directly reach out to the communities.
By Sebastian Miriti