NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – Deputy President William Ruto on Tuesday surrendered his helicopter to airlift a mother and her two children from Nanyuki hospital to Nairobi for specialised treatment after bandits shot them in Laikipia North Constituency.
Nandunya Karura, 27, her sons Londunya Karura, 8 and Salin Karura, 4, were attacked at their house at around 8pm by four bandits who shot them in the left leg, right leg and back respectively.
Bandits have run amok in the area recently killing a rancher and torching and destroying property as they searched for pasture.
Police said the motive of the shooting remained unknown as the attackers fled after the shooting.
Ruto was on a tour of the area to assess the security situation and introduce police reservists.
Condemning the attack, the Deputy President said sanctity of life must be protected.
In addition, he said individuals who had invaded ranches, shot owners dead, stole animals and torched property will face the law.
“It is sad that innocent people are being killed,” said Ruto.
He at the same time unveiled 200 newly recruited police reservists to help other security personnel in containing insecurity occasioned by invasion of ranches by armed herders and cattle rustling incidents.
He said police reservists are doing a great job in protecting the lives of the people along the Kerio valley because they well understand the terrain compared to security agencies who do not hail from such areas.
Ruto said the government targets to recruit 1,300 police reservists along the Kerio Valley to help security officers in the fight against banditry and cattle rustling activities.
“We are not going to allow some few individuals to terrorise wananchi along the Kerio Valley in the name of cattle rustling. We must bring this to an end,” said Ruto.
Addressing the newly recruited security officers at the Rumuruti Club in Laikipia County, the Deputy President said cases of insecurity in the region were negatively impacting the country’s image internationally.
The Deputy President also visited Arabal and Yatia, Baringo County and Tot in Elgeyo Marakwet County.
Residents who had been chased from their homes by rustlers have returned. The government has helped them cultivate their land and issued them with fertilizer and seeds ready for the planting season.
“These cases of insecurity are tarnishing the image of this country and scaring away investors. We must bring this to an end,” said Ruto.
The Deputy President was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett (Agriculture, MPs Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), William Cheptumo (Baringo North), Kangogo Bowen (Marakwet East), Wachira Karani (Laikipia West) and GG Kariuki (Laikipia).
He asked security personnel to round up all children who were looking after animals and take them to school.
The Deputy President said it was the responsibility of chiefs and their assistants to make sure that all children in areas under their jurisdictions were taken to school.
Ruto said parents who failed to take their children to school should be prosecuted saying it was mandatory for them to take their children to school.
The Deputy President also asked leaders to lead in the search for peace in the region.
He said all leaders must act responsibly in addressing insecurity challenges warning of stern action against those who incite the public to engage in acts of lawlessness for their selfish ends.
“Leaders must act responsibly and in a measured manner and stop engaging in activities that threaten peace and stability of the people,” said Ruto.
He said the problem of lack of pasture and drought should not be an excuse to invade people’s property in any part of the country.
“Although we have serious drought, pasture and water problems, it should not be an excuse to engage in criminal activities by invading other people’s property,” said Ruto.
He said in addition to the 1,380 security officers in the region, the Government would increase a platoon of General Service Unit (GSU) officers and two Armoured Personnel Carriers to help in the fight against insecurity in Laikipia.
He said that all security agencies had been mobilized to ensure that incidents of cattle theft that have resulted into loss of lives in the past don’t recur.
He said while the government was beefing up security, the public had a duty to report criminals in their midst to the authorities.
Ruto visited Chemorongion Primary School in Arabal that reopened last week following deployment of police reservists.
He said learning has resumed in most schools in the area because of improved security.
The Deputy President said: “We will do whatever it takes to ensure your learning is not disrupted by banditry. We have enough security personnel and food to ensure children stay in school.”