• April 16, 2024
  • Last Update April 16, 2024 4:29 PM
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Chiefs fear for their lives after bandits target them

Chiefs fear for their lives after bandits target them

Kabarnet, Thursday, March 28 KNA by Joshua Kibet

Chiefs in Baringo North whose areas of jurisdiction have not known peace and stability for a long time are a worried lot after armed bandits trained guns on them in vengeance.

In the past two months bandits staging attacks with impunity have killed the Yatia chief’s two children and drove away all the goats besides stealing goats belonging to Chemoe chief and his Tuluk counterpart.

Speaking at Koibaware primary school playgrounds during a relief food distribution exercise presided over by ASAL and Regional Development CS Penninah Malonza, Sibilo Chief Joseph Chemitei narrated amid sobs how bandits have reduced him to a pauper.

Mr Chemitei told the disillusioned locals currently living as internally displaced people (IDPs) that the daring bandits have vowed to deal with local chiefs in order to overrun the region.

“It is only two months before I leave public service and here I have lost all my goats and my family is displaced. I cannot develop myself. Imagine somebody is holding my goats there at Seretion and Kashiokon in Tiaty constituency and I don’t know what the government is doing to return my animals,” he lamented profusely.

A frustrated looking Chemitei said he was supposed to have proceeded on terminal leave pending retirement but he has been forced to remain in office waiting to handover government properties adding to his mounting stress.

“My children are not at home; I have no one to assist me. I am lonely, only given solace by 10 kids left behind by the stolen goats and a few hens. I have to feed the kids and chicken every morning before going to the office,” Chemitei adds.

He said despite the government promising to neutralize the criminal gangs under Operation Maliza Uhalifu (OMU) little has been achieved as the bandits and rustlers sustained their raids. Since the beginning of this year more than fifteen people have died at the hands of the heavily armed cattle rustlers and bandits who are spoiled for a fight.

Area MP Joseph Makilap and Woman Representative Florence Jematia who attended the event joined the locals in pouring out their frustrations over the government inability to end the insecurity menace which has resulted in many deaths, loss of livestock, and loss of socio economic livelihoods and displacement of households.

Mr Makilap in his address punctuated with lamentations and finger pointing said despite informing Interior CS Kindiki and the President about the bad situation in parts of the constituency nothing tangible has been done.

“There is nothing I have not told the government. Last time when in State House I was told to remain calm and not to lament a lot, with the promise that the government will do something.

Last week while assessing the security situation in the affected area of Baringo North, Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Abdi Hassan issued a 24-hour ultimatum to eleven influential families herding their livestock illegally in the region to vacate and return to their original home failing which unspecified consequence will be instituted.

Mr Hassan maintained that they shall no longer entertain the activities of the owners who have hired the services of armed criminals who instead of herding animals peacefully were wreaking havoc by killing innocent people, maiming and uprooting them from their lands.

The regional administrator stated that the dangerous armed herders taking care of the hundreds of livestock belonging to the influential families from Tiaty have been issued with a warning through local chiefs to move out but they have disobeyed the amnesty given to them.

“The Government will take very painful measures which they will remember for a very long time, if they don’t heed vacation orders and advice given to them. We shall deal with them ruthlessly regardless of their social status in society. Let it be known,” he said.

The commissioner accompanied Regional Police Commander Tom Odero and Baringo County Commissioner Stephen Kutwa said they suspect that the herders are part of the larger syndicate which for the past three months has been causing untold suffering to residents of Baringo North and South as well as the neighbouring counties of Elgeyo Marakwet, Laikipia, Samburu and Turkana.

Courtesy; KNA

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