Angry residents of South Alego location last Thursday stormed the Bar Ogong’o police patrol base in Siaya, protesting against insecurity.
The residents, drawn from mainly Malanga and Randago sub locations accused the law enforcers based at the base of working in cahoots with cattle rustlers who were giving them sleepless nights.
Led by a Mr. Owino Nyapola, the residents numbering close to 100 called for a total overhaul of the officers deployed at Bar Ogong’o if security, especially rampant cattle rustling was to be checked.
Nyapola said that a senior official at the camp was a known collaborator of the cattle rustlers and other criminals from the area, adding that the officer should be sacked and made to face the law for subjecting them to suffering.
The residents lamented that numerous reports, including names of the suspected criminals have been made to the police camp but nothing comes of it.
“We have made numerous reports of stock theft to the officers but nothing has been done to contain the situation” said a villager, Joseph Nyasero who complained that the officers have always displayed laxity in arresting suspects.
They said that even efforts to arrest suspects and hand them over to the police have not helped as they are always released in unclear circumstances.
Contacted, Siaya deputy county commissioner, Joseph Sawe confirmed the storming of the police patrol base but called for calm among the residents.
Sawe told Kenya News Agency that the sub county security team held an impromptu baraza with the locals to sort out the problem that, he added, had seen the residents lynch two suspected cattle rustlers.
He said that the government had already started taking action aimed at winning back the public confidence on the police by transferring one of the officers identified by the public as a stumbling block to the war against insecurity in the area.
“The officer was transferred immediately to the headquarters as the sub county police commander is reviewing the situation with the aim of making more changes” he said.
Sawe however called on the public not to engage in mob justice, but instead hand over the suspects to law enforcers.
In the last two weeks, incidents of cattle theft have increased in South Alego, with the public lynching two suspects and a third one escaping with serious injuries. He was admitted at Siaya county referral hospital in critical condition.
By Philip Onyango