Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of Government Prof Kithure Kindiki has ordered for recruitment of 250 police reservists in Mwingi to curb insecurity in the area.
Kindiki said that the government will train the 250 National Police Reservists (NPR) to beef up security in the area, adding that the government would release Sh.1 million for the completion of a police post under construction in the area to host more police officers to be deployed in the area. Currently a temporary police post has 21 police officers patrolling in the area.
The CS was speaking in Mandongoi Primary School in Mwingi North when he visited the area following ongoing insecurity in the area between camel herders and locals. Last week two locals were killed by bandits alleged to be camel herders.
Kindiki, who was accompanied by local leaders and the county security team, promised a multi- pronged approach targeting a permanent end to cyclic conflicts that have been witnessed in the area for long.
He directed the county security team to highlight all the required support they need to ensure insecurity in the region is a thing of the past. Kindiki also ordered police officers to do their job as the government will protect them so long as they do the right thing to protect Kenyans and their property.
“We cannot wait for another death or crisis before we act. Neither will we have a discussion with criminals. Use all the available means to protect the lives and property of peace-loving Kenyans. The government will defend you so long as your action is within the law,” he stated.
He ordered camel herders who have invaded Mwingi and other parts of Kitui County to leave immediately or face forceful eviction from government authorities.
He said with the ongoing rains, the herders have no reason to provoke conflicts with residents by encroaching on farms in search of pasture and water. “Every herder must go back home because the rains are here and no herder should be allowed to destroy farmers’ farms,” he added.
There has been hostility between armed herders and locals who accused the pastoralists of deliberately leading their livestock into farms and thereby destroying crops, resulting in deaths of two residents last week.
“I am ordering that all grazers and herders who have been grazing in this area and don’t come from here return to their home counties. The County Commissioner let me know how many officers we need to implement that order. We are not going to negotiate with criminals,” he added, further warning residents against violence.
Meanwhile, the Interior CS warned area residents against taking the law into their hands in dealing with the camel herders. He said those caught taking the law into their hands will face full force of law and thanked residents for not engaging in revenge following last week’s killings.
The CS also distributed food to vulnerable households in the area. He promised that the government will begin issuing title deeds to the residents starting January next year.
By Charles Matacho