NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 7 – Interior Cabinet Secretary, Joseph Nkaissery on Wednesday outlined an eight-point plan for dealing with the insecurity issues plaguing the North Rift and Upper Eastern regions of the country.
First on his agenda for the region, was the problem of cattle rustling which he said would become a “thing of the past” under his leadership.
“If the footsteps of the cattle are followed into your location, you are responsible for returning the same number of cattle,” he said following a meeting with political leaders from the counties of Laikipia, Marsabit, Samburu, Turkana, Pokot, Baringo and Isiolo.
He said his ministry would also carry out, “research,” in order to identify those behind the illegal enterprise and bring them to book.
“If you know who they are, tell me. They will be arrested this very night,” he vowed.
Together with the National Assembly committee charged with overseeing issues of national security, Nkaissery said his ministry would “fast track enactment of legislation to make cattle rustling a capital offence.”
He also announced an immediate amnesty for those in the above mentioned areas who return their arms to the police or administration officers.
“Just take them to your chief,” he said, “I will not follow you.”
A disarmament effort which he said would be undertaken in consultation with the community leaders.
Nkaissery also announced a number of what he defined as, “reforms in the coordination of security,” in the recruitment of national police reservists, police officers, “to address the challenge of high turnover,” and chiefs.
A review of the national administration, he explained, was necessary to ensure it was streamlined with the new county government structures.
In the spirit of harmonisation, Nkaissery and those he hosted on Wednesday agreed that it was in the nation’s interest if the roles of the peace committees, Council of Elders and Nyumba Kumi were, “synergised to avoid conflict.”
In order to deal with what he said were the underlying causes of insecurity, Nkaissery, the North Rift and Upper Eastern leaders resolved to engage their youth in the National Youth Service, conservancies, through irrigation and by encouraging them to go to school.
Nkaissery also made it clear where his allegiances now lie when he defended the newly enacted security law that his former party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), has opposed.
“Security laws are not meant to be popular. They’re meant to protect individuals and their property,” he said.
Going forward, Nkaissery said he would personally visit each county, “for a structured engagement to appreciate their unique challenges.”
His meeting with the North Rift and Upper Eastern leaders, they resolved, would also become a biannual affair.