, NYAHURURU, Kenya, Apr 1 – Internal Security Assistant Minister Simeon Lesirma has called on leaders to fast track efforts aimed at curbing persistent cattle rustling and other insecurity matters in Arid and Semi Arid areas (ASAL).
He noted that though the Government takes the issues in the ASAL areas seriously, more civic education needs to be carried out for residents in the region to be able to look for alternative ways of making a living.
Speaking to Capital News in Nyahururu, the Samburu West MP said that insecurity in the Northern regions could be addressed if the areas were developed economically.
He said past governments had neglected the area but improved road networks, health facilities and education would open up the areas and give residents alternative sources of livelihood.
"People in these areas need alternative sources of livelihood, and improved infrastructure would open up economic activities," he said in an interview.
He urged his colleagues to be at the forefront of the fight against cattle rustling, and accused some leaders of shying away from speaking publicly against the vice, especially when their communities have been attacked.
"MPs keep quiet on issues of cattle rustling so that they do not rub their constituents the wrong way, so that they are re-elected after five years," he said.
The Assistant Minister revealed that the Government should provide quality education and training to children and youth in ASAL areas to enable them diversify sources of income to curb cattle rustling.
The MP said at the same time that a disarmament exercise should be conducted to ensure prompt recovery of stolen animals.
The legislator also asked the Government to prioritise early warning systems to help in crime prevention.
Mr Lesirma further pointed an accusing finger at the Ministry of Agriculture claiming that it was doing very little to ensure farmers in the region receive subsidised farm inputs ahead of the planting season.
He said the Ministry had not yet provided seeds to farmers in the white highland Lelogio plateau and said that this may hinder farmers from planting in time.