The Parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security on Friday started touring Kitui’s insecurity hotspots with a view to finding lasting peace following incursions by armed camel herders in search of water and pasture.
The Committee led by Kiambaa Member of PArliament, Paul Koinange will tour Mutha, Mumba, and Inyale in Kitui South on Friday before winding their tour on Saturday at Ukasi, Wambaa and Wangemi in Mwingi Central.
Speaking to Kenya News Agency in Kitui after a lengthy meeting with County Security Team, Koinange said that they are collecting views from the locals before presenting their findings in the National Assembly for adoption.
Tension is high in Mutha Ward, Kitui South, after armed bandits allegedly beheaded a middle aged man and left three others nursing serious injuries while over a dozen families fled their homes in fear of their lives.
The attackers, said to have been masquerading as Somali camel herders, reportedly killed and inflicted injuries on the victims following sporadic pasture-related conflicts characteristic of the remote part of Kitui County.
Joram King’ondu, a resident of Musenge village, said the bandits, unprovoked, attacked his neighbour while he was resting at his home and beheaded him on Sunday evening.
“The banditry menace in this area dates back to several decades ago. The Somali bandits killed my father and two uncles,” he lamented.
“People have since fled their homes and are living in the bushes like animals. Children cannot go to school due to heightened insecurity. We are suffering,” added King’ondu.
Jonathan Ngau, who is recuperating at Mutomo Mission Hospital, was attacked while on a motorbike with his friend and severely injured after one of the assailants pierced him on his left ribs with a spear.
Katuku Kieti from Ndulani village is admitted at the same hospital after the bandits waylaid her on her way home and nearly chopped off her left arm.
Dr. John Amollo said the victims, including another male nursing bullet wounds to the leg, were responding well to treatment and were in stable condition.
The Kitui South MP, Rachael Nyamai blamed the State for failure to provide a lasting solution to the age-old banditry in the area.
She appealed to Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i to swiftly initiate disarmament and eviction of the bandits from Kitui County as part of restoring peace along the volatile Kitui-Tana River border.
The Mutomo Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Ronald Nyakasi said security officers were combing the area for the criminals and that several suspects had been arrested in connection with Sunday’s murder.
By Yobesh Onwong’a