Isiolo County Commissioner Mr. Herman Shambi said the government would not compromise the security of its citizens and warned those behind cattle rustling and highway banditry that their days are numbered.
Speaking while receiving two rifles from Ngaremara Ward residents Monday, Mr. Shambi said that the government was concerned over a recent incident where 10 police officers were attacked by bandits and criticized those in possession of illegal guns.
The two rifles, one MG16 and an AK 47 with two rounds of ammo that were handed to the security team in the county brings the number of guns surrendered by the residents to 12 after 10 more lethal weapons were handed over last week.
The CC denied that police who are pursuing the rustlers who had stolen animals from their neighbours from Meru side were using excessive force on wananchi saying the operation to search for the criminals, the livestock and firearms used during the attack on herders and the 10 security officers was conducted in a professional way.
He said that guns are safe when in the hands of government security officers and not with the civilians who are supposed to be protected by the policemen along with their property and therefore mopping up the illegal weapons was necessitated by the attacks.
Mr. Shambi however said that those surrendering the weapons would be pardoned.
He revealed that out of the 12 rifles only five were in working order while seven are outdated and had no bullets adding that they would be taken for ballistic examination.
Shambi said that the operation would continue and warned those hiding the criminals of dire consequences should they be confronted.
He said that Meru and Isiolo residents have been living in harmony and they should not allow criminals to create unnecessary tension between them.
He also appealed to those who had fled their homes for fear of the security operation to return back and continue with their normal livelihood as security has been beefed up in the area.
The Commissioner directed chiefs and their assistants to be vigilant in their areas of jurisdiction and ensure banditry activities, livestock theft and other crimes that are a source of community conflicts are decisively dealt with.
By Abduba Mamo/David Nduro