, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – An order that had been issued to pastoral communities to surrender illegal firearms by last Saturday will not be extended any further.
Internal Security Minister George Saitoti has said stern action will instead be taken against pastoralists who did not hand in their firearms voluntarily.
He expressed the government’s commitment to provide adequate security in areas where cattle rustling if prevalent.
“It is not only guns or police officers who are going to end violence. We as the government would like to work together with your leaders and everyone else since peace belongs to everyone,” he said.
The government had earlier extended the deadline on the general amnesty issued to pastoralists to surrender illegal firearms.
The minister said his action was prompted with the good response by members of the pastoralist communities on the earlier amnesty that was issued by the Government.
Professor Saitoti had said that he expected that the extension allowed those in possession of illegal firearms to surrender them before the Government moves in to mop up all illegal firearms, now that the amnesty period has lapsed.
He thanked all those who had responded positively and assured those in areas prone to cattle rustling that the Government will provide them with adequate security.
The government has so far recovered 2,399 guns and over 60,000 rounds of ammunition from the residents of North Rift and Upper Eastern, said Prof Saitoti.
In a bid to further reduce cattle rustling, the PS in the ministry Francis Kimemia stated that the government would undertake a branding exercise which will reduce livestock theft.
“Every community should submit a brand type and name to the government. Every community should have their own brand,” he said.
“We are also going to publish the brands in the daily papers so that should a dispute arise, it can be dealt with effectively,” he stated.
Speaking at the same time, Marakwet East Member of Parliament Linah Jebii Kilimo said that there was need for parents to teach their children the importance of having peace among themselves.
She said that lack of proper instruction was to blame for the resultant destructive behaviour like cattle rustling prevalent in many pastoral communities.
“A child’s first teacher is the mother so we can all use our maternal powers to shape our children. This we can do by our conduct and the words that issue forth from our mouths,” she said.