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Residents protest over insecurity in Laikipia

NYAHURURU, Kenya, Jun 23 – Residents from Nga’rua and Ol-Moran divisions of Laikipia West district held a day long demonstration on Monday to protest against rising cases of insecurity in the area.

The protestors were up in arms over security agents, whom they accused of doing very little to contain crime.

The protest came barely days after an Assistant Chief and one other person were shot dead by heavily armed gangsters at Ol-Ndonyo Loip village.

The protestors carried twigs and placards blocking the busy Nyahururu-Kinamba-Sipili road and marched to the area DO’s office where they presented their grievances in a memorandum.

Business activities in both Kinamba and Sipili trading centres remained closed for the better part of the day with the demonstrators demanding that police officers attached to the Kinamba police station be transferred for failing in their duty of protecting the locals.

Led by area civic leader Wilson Kinyanjui, the irate residents claimed that the station lacks police vehicles to carry out 24-hour security patrols saying criminals were taking advantage and terrorising innocent wananchi.

He said that most businessmen and young people were now being forced to close their businesses as early as 7pm for fear of being attacked on their way home.

The Kinamba ward councillor also expressed his concern over what he termed as police harassment of youth operating motorcycle taxis in the area, claiming they were being arrested on flimsy grounds and are never taken to court.

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He said accused the police officers of demanding Sh200 daily from the boda boda operators as a daily protection fee.

Mr Kinyanjui added that rarely a day passes by without criminal activities being reported and called on the Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti to intervene.

He said challenged them to cooperate with the security agents in the area so as to help in the fight against crime noting that security matters called for a concerted effort by all the stakeholders.

At the same time, the councillor assured the residents that the government would soon give the area police station a vehicle that will enable the officers conduct regular patrols.

Ol-Ndonyo Loip assistant chief Patrick Njenga and a matatu conductor John Maina were shot dead on Saturday night as they went home from Sipili town, after being confronted by a six man gang.

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