Baringo County Commissioner Abdirisack Jaldesa has called on newly elected leaders to help stem out the widespread practice among the local boys who instead of being in school were busy engaging in cattle rustling activities and herding livestock.
Jaldesa noted that youth in the pastoralist inhabited Tiaty were greatly disadvantaged by the gun mentality so that when they were not engaging in deep rooted cultural practice of gun-running, cattle raids they were participating in resource based conflicts arising from competition for scarce pasture and water.
The county commissioner made the call during a county multisectoral and coordination forum on post-election activity meeting at a Kabarnet hotel.
He noted that unless the outdated practice of cattle rustling and banditry menace is stamped out in seriously affected areas no meaningful development will take place.
Flanked by County Police Commander Adamson Bungei, the commissioner said it was imperative for the new crop of leaders together with Governor Benjamin Cheboi, clergy and village elders to mount serious public meetings across the banditry prone areas to sensitize residents to abandon the archaic habit of raiding their neighbours.
“As county security team, with maximum support from elected leaders we are committed to turning around the history of Baringo in terms of insecurity. Families displaced from their ancestral lands especially in Baringo South and Baringo North must return to their homes and schools reopened immediately,” he reiterated.
Mr Bungei expressed satisfaction that there was no single incident of insecurity recorded in the entire county during the election period and even after the announcement of results.
Tiaty East Deputy County Commissioner Josiah Odongo told the forum that the extremely high illiteracy levels in the community coupled with unabated Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has left the expansive region lag behind in all aspects of development.
He pointed out the biggest problem faced in the region is stock theft where national government officials were having it rough recovering stolen animals leaving alone nabbing the culprits.
Participants in the daylong meeting organized by Midriff and Reinvent organizations wondered why they are always being told that a certain number of livestock have been recovered and handed over to the owners yet the criminals are left to continue with their business.
On the just concluded elections, the county security team commended communities in the vast county for maintaining peace and security before, during and after the competitive polls.
They appealed to area residents to embrace the same spirit even as the country awaits the outcome of the presidential petition being heard currently at the Supreme Court adding that whichever way the verdict goes people should accept and move on with their lives.
By Joshua Kibet