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Matiangi imposes curfew on troubled Cheptais

An aerial view of the troubled Mt Elgon area/JOSEPH MURAYA

BUNGOMA, Kenya, Mar 6 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has imposed a 6pm to 6am curfew on Cheptais Sub-County of Mt Elgon.

The decision, Matiangi said on a trip to Mount Elgon, has been informed by a wave of killings by a criminal gang.

Addressing locals at a meeting attended by the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet on Tuesday, he said a major security operation would be launched to wipe out any criminal elements in the area.

“We cannot have criminals terrorising people here, we shall deal with them,” the CS asserted.

A major security and administration shake up is also expected in the area after locals accused authorities in the area of being compromised.

“We shall pursue them to the gates of hell,” the CS said..

The area, though highly productive with vast pieces of land, suffers from poverty.

Illiteracy levels are also high according to area authorities.

Lands Cabinet Secretary Faridah Karoney has also said that locals will be given title deeds in three months’ time.

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At a meeting with Matiangi, Karoney and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, area residents made shocking revelations of terror at the hands of the ruthless gangs responsible for killing tens in the area.

Testimonies of how the gang has been raping women, young girls and at even forcing sons to have sexual intercourse with their mothers were shared.

The gang is responsible for killing more than 40 people in the new wave of attacks.

The meeting also attended by Inspector General of police Joseph Boinnet and local security authorities saw locals pours out their hearts, in hope their pain will be no more.

“We don’t have security officers here. They’re all cowards,” women leader in the area Eunice Korum told the Cabinet Secretary.

According to her, police are reluctant in dealing with the gang.

“They only come to collect bodies but don’t respond when the criminals are here,” she said.

All this time, a visibly perplexed Interior Cabinet Secretary was listening.

“Mr Matiangi, please recruit me as a police officer. I’m ready to fight for our people,” Korum asserted.

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Youth leaders and elders also shared their ordeal with the CS and his team.

– Deal with them –

According to locals, the criminals have been colluding with security forces in the area.

They also say that the gang has encroached on government land.

There’s a poor road network, which this reporter can attest to, which slows down police while responding to distress calls.

The area Member of Parliament Fred Kapondi has vowed to hand over the names of the suspected members of the gang to security agencies.

“As long as they are alive (the criminals) our people will know no peace,” the legislator said.

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