The government has assured residents of Taita-Taveta County of their security after hate leaflets with threatening messages were dumped at night in the outskirts of Voi town.
The County Commissioner Loyford Kibaara said the government had launched a crackdown on the authors of the alarming messages stating they would be brought to book and dealt with severely for causing panic in the region.
Speaking at Moi Stadium in Voi during the celebrations of Jamhuri Day on Monday, the administrator said the government would be ruthless on anyone who was a threat to peace in the region.
He disclosed that investigations had already commenced with a security team zoning in on a few people who are suspected to be behind the leaflets.
“The constitution says everyone has a right to settle anywhere provided they have all the necessary documents to allow them to occupy their land. Any attempt to displace anyone will be dealt with firmly,” he said.
The County Commissioner’s remarks come barely a day after hate leaflets were found dumped in the Voi area of Mazeras. The leaflets demanded those who have settled in one of the most affluent estates in Taita-Taveta to vacate the land.
While the author remains unknown, police are closing in on unnamed officials of a group ranch that is claiming to own the land. Some of these disgruntled officials are thought to be behind the push to scare landowners into abandoning their land.
However, the CC said that all landowners had proper documentation and had valid agreements with individual land owners. He stated that all disputes could be handled through the relevant offices and not through sneaky means including intimidation and use of threats.
He further directed the chiefs and their assistants to scale up their fight against illegal charcoal trade and illegal brew to entrench order and security in the villages.
While giving his address, Governor Andrew Mwadime said that the county was known for peace and harmonious co-existence between the local residents and investors.
He added that a few people were trying to disrupt the peace but such efforts would not bear fruits.
“We have lived here as one family. No one should be allowed to change that,” he said.
The governor further said that he would not tolerate corrupt and incompetent officials in his administration. He noted that some workers in his government were becoming disrespectful of authorities and would be punished if they did not reform.
Mr. David Zowe, the County Chair Peace Committee, stated that the people behind the hate leaflets were a threat to the cohesion in the county. He added that such acts had the potential to cause panic especially at a time the Christmas festivities were picking up.
By Wagema Mwangi