Baringo North Member of Parliament William Cheptumo has called on the government through Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to fast track implementation of cattle rustling bill which he says shall address some of the effects occasioned by the retrogressive practice amongst some pastoralist communities.
Cheptumo who spoke to the press on Tuesday outside Baringo County Assembly buildings in Kabarnet town noted that the vice was increasingly becoming a weekly and monthly occurrence in parts of the country like Baringo, West Pokot and Turkana counties causing victims untold suffering.
“The effects of cattle rustling and banditry is massive because hospitals, institutions, water points in the affected areas have been vandalized and families have been displaced,” he pointed out.
The legislator said that the outdated cultural practice has also caused irreparable and negative socio-economic impact in the affected warring communities that has resulted in increased number of widows, widowers and orphaned children.
He said that the National Assembly in 2018 passed a motion that seeks to declare cattle rustling a national disaster and therefore establish a special funds from the national government to compensate and resettle all victims across the country but until now, the report was yet to be implemented by the Interior ministry.
The MP accompanied by County Assembly Speaker David Kiplagat and a section of MCAs has urged CS Dr. Fred Matiangi to give the matter the seriousness it deserved and begin the process of identifying the victims to be compensated so that they are relocated to their homeland to continue with their normal lives.
At the same time, the legislator poked holes on the stoppage of the disarmament exercise in some parts of North Rift saying that it has allowed more stealing of livestock and unnecessary panic amongst residents living along common borders.
He called on President Uhuru Kenyatta to relook into the process and redeploy National Police Reservists (NPRs) to beef up police officers in maintaining peace and order especially in insecurity prone areas like Baringo North and Baringo South sub counties.
Cheptumo noted with concern that since the withdrawal of the NPRs in his constituency two years ago, attacks from armed cattle rustlers and bandits has become the order of the day.
On Monday this week, armed cattle rustlers raided Ngaratuko area in Saimo Soi ward, Baringo North where they were said to have made away with more than 100 goats but a contingent of Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU) and anti-stock theft unit (ASTU) officers responded swiftly and thwarted their move.
By Benson Kelio/Joshua Kibet