, LAIKIPIA, Kenya, Jul 14 – Following rising cases of insecurity in Laikipia, six schools were on Friday closed after parents withdrew their children to protest the resurgence of bandit attacks and cattle rustling.
For the past two weeks, over 60 heads of cattle have been stolen while three people among them a Kenya police Reservist are nursing gunshot wounds sustained during the attacks at Wangwachi village in Ol-Moran Ward.
The parents have questioned why police officers who had been deployed in the area to carry out the disarmament exercise had stopped the operation.
“There are so many cows that have been stolen from this area, our children are being raped, we are not secure anymore and that is why we have decided to close all these schools,” said one of the parents, Elizabeth Muthoni.
Parents from Nyakinyua Primary and Secondary schools, Makutano Primary and Secondary schools, Njorua Secondary and Wangwachi Primary schools withdrew their children in protest, claiming that the government had failed to protect them and their property.
The parents were among protestors led by Ol-Moran Ward MCA George Karuiru, who marched for over 15 kilometers to Kinamba Trading Centre to seek audience with the area Assistant Commissioner.
Karuiru accused a section of leaders from the neighbouring Baringo County of attempting to protect the criminals who are said to be behind a series of attacks within Laikipia.
“This is not the first time these criminals attack us during the day and at night, we need the government to intervene and punish all those who may be perpetrating these attacks,” he said.
Karuiru regretted that residents had started fleeing the area as a result.
“For how long will our people die for the government to take action? We want immediate action to be taken so that our people can enjoy peace,” the MCA demanded.
Laikipia West Member of Parliament Patrick Mariru had a rough time when he arrived at the Ng’arua Divisional offices where the demonstrators had gathered, as they blamed him for doing very little to address the critical issues they were facing.
It took the efforts of security officers to calm them down so that he could address them.
Mariru called on the government to investigate senior politicians from the nearby Baringo County, whom he said were inciting their communities to attack people in Laikipia.
This is not the first time leaders and residents were decrying insecurity in the area, as such cases are reported every year and it’s a matter of time to see if a permanent solution will be found.