Transport Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kipchumba Murkomen has challenged leaders from feuding communities in the North Rift region to embrace each other to help bring to an end the escalating banditry and cattle rustling menace.
Murkomen said that he was taking up personal responsibility to call upon all leaders from the Pokot, Turkana, Marakwet and Samburu communities to unite in a move to help end the insecurity challenge in the region.
The CS said criminals should be handled as individuals rather than condemning the whole community noting that Pokot, Marakwets, Turkanas and Tugens are peace loving and God-fearing people only that there are a few criminal elements among them.
“Someone who shoots, kills people and steals has no tribe or community and should carry their own cross as an individual. We acknowledge there is a big problem in the region,” said Murkomen.
“We have met as leaders for a long time and we should not tire up. Let the government continue doing the security operation but as leaders we should come together and bring the problem to an end,” he advised.
Speaking at Chewoyet Boys’ High School in West Pokot County on Friday during a thanks giving ceremony and launch of a 4-year strategic plan of the school, Murkomen argued that there was need for holistic development in the region.
“I am Pokot who is Marakwet and vice-versa and I have no shame. I am not an inciter. Justice must be the cornerstone of our unity and this can be attained through eradicating banditry,” he remarked.
The CS mentioned that the government will open up all marginalized areas through revitalization of infrastructural networks across the region among them roads and schools as a way of taming insecurity.
Murkomen stated that having illiterate people with guns is the worst scenario because they do not know the meaning of life hence supply of arms by crooks must be stopped by all means.
The CS reiterated that the President is not only committed to flush out bandits but also come up with a long-term development agenda to change the Kerio Valley from a valley of death to a valley of life and prosperity.
“I am pensive when I see Pokots, Turkanas, Marakwets and Tugens dying every day. It is a total shame,” he regretted, adding that all roads that were under construction in the region will continue.
“All roads like Chepkorniswo-Sina, Kabichbich-Kipat-Chesumet, Chorwai-Kapkanyar-Kapcherop, Tamkal-Konyao-Kiwawa-Alale, Makutano-Kabichibich-Sondany, Chepareria-Chepnyal, Talau-Makutano Town-Chewoyet and Forest roads will be completed. We have told contractors to work hard or cancel their works,” he said.
Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong called on the government to ensure bandits are weeded out through enhancement of education, improved road networks and strict implementation of the affirmative action.
“We need more learning institutions, roads and affirmative action. Children should learn for free until they are 15 years of age. We support the security operations but they should be done to all communities and with respect to human rights,” said Lochakapong calling on the security teams to be effective.
Echoing similar sentiments, Tiaty MP William Kamket noted that the region needs peace and development, hitting out at the opposition over their mass action drives.
“The constitution must be respected and those bringing violence in the country should know they are in breach of the law of the land. If there is a question in any elective position of an MP or member of county assembly, it should be taken to the high court and that of the President should go to the Supreme Court. Anything beyond that is unconstitutional and illegal,” argued Kamket.
“The opposition leader should know that he was forgiven in 2017 when he swore himself in but if he attempts this time, it will be treasonable,” said the Tiaty legislator, in reference to Raila Odinga.
West Pokot senator Rev. Julius Murgor vowed that as leaders from the region, they will sit at the table together and help tame insecurity in the region.
“Only few leaders are inciters. We should stop following the tail of a cow,” he opined.
Rev. Murgor said that the opposition leader failed to bring evidence in court and should stop putting the country in a limbo.
Kapenguria MP Samuel Moroto hinted that insecurity was happening due to the underdevelopment of the area hence the need to upscale development activities in the region.
West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin called on the opposition to put Kenya first by respecting the law
“Those who want to exercise their rights should put Kenya first because mass action will not help this country. They should stop it,” stated the governor.
Chewoyet Boys’ High School, a national school, was honoured for posting the best results with 228 candidates scoring C+ and above in the last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) examinations. It attained a mean of 8.306 and emerged as the top school in the county.
By Richard Muhambe and Anthony Melly