Residents of Chepkeu Village in Baringo are worried that they may not be counted in the coming census exercise after a banditry attack Thursday that left a school girl nursing a bullet wound.
According to the area county assembly representative, Reuben Chepsongol, the residents in Kisumet sub-location in Baringo ward are in fear that bandits believed to be from the neighbouring community may attack during the census night.
“The attack on eight girls who were cutting grass to repair their houses has left them in fear with some preparing to leave the area for safer grounds,” said the MCA.
Chepsongol called on the government to give security of Kenyans the seriousness it deserves arguing that it was ironic for the government to pursue corrupt individuals with much vigour, yet leave them unprotected.
He also called for a review of a recent order by the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government to withdraw firearms from Police Reservists saying it has exposed the residents to banditry attacks.
“They should also relook at the leadership of the ministry and security agency because it seems they are failing to deliver on their mandate,” said Chepsongol.
He said that the girl was shot at the same spot the chief of Ngorora location was killed two years ago by the bandits.
The MCA called on the government to consider changing the time of census exercise from night to daytime so as to safeguard the security of the residents and enumerators in the security volatile area.
Mr. Peter Kandagor, one of the area residents said the banditry attacks have increased with the withdrawal of Kenya Police Reservists from the area.
He questioned the move to disarm the KPR before disarming the criminals saying it has given a leeway to the criminals to make the incessant attacks.
The 9am incident left one form four girl of Ruth Kiptui girls with bullet wound in her right hand, with another girl left with bruises after she fell while running away from the attackers.
The girls reported that they saw about six armed men who shot at them making them to scream and run to their homes.
According to a medic at Baringo county Referral Hospital who requested anonymity, the bullet shattered two bones on the hand and the girl is stable after undergoing a surgical procedure at the theatre.
Baringo North Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Joseph Obwocha condemned the attacks saying it was immoral to attack innocent women who were not armed.
He called on the residents to maintain peaceful coexistence so as to let the census exercise to run smoothly.
Speaking to KNA on phone, Obwocha assured the residents that the government was committed to ensuring the safety of the residents and officials who will conduct the census exercise is upheld.
By Christopher Kiprop