NAIROBI, Kenya, May 30 – Leaders from pastoralist communities have retreated from opposing the withdrawal of National Police Reservists currently undergoing through vetting.
The leaders who have been against the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai’s move, now say they support it after their grievances were addressed during a meeting led by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi.
CS Matiangi has assured the leaders that the exercise will be held seamlessly to ensure hotspots more so in the North Rift are not left vulnerable but have vowed not to relent until the menace of cattle rustling is over.
“Cattle rustling is not a cultural activity. It is a criminal commercial enterprise and this is the time to end this madness,” the CS asserted.
“I am happy for the political commitment you have shown and in the next seven days, we will come up with a structure on how these members will work with the officers for as long as it takes until we get a lasting solution instead of touch and go attitude.”
Already, 90,000 rounds of ammunition have been recovered from the National Police Reservists. The vetting, Matiangi said, was necessitated by the need to register all firearms.
The leaders were led by Turkana Governor Josphat Nanok, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and his Senate counterpart Kipchumba Murkomen, where they announced the formation of a 12-member committee tasked to work with the IG to oversee the vetting exercise and restoration of sanity in the troubled region.
“I am happy that the focus has now shifted to pacifying a region that has been bleeding for a long time. Now, bring more infrastructural developments and education to our people,” Governor Nanok said.
Legislators Duale and Murkomen expressed hope that a lasting peace solution will be found in the area, whose populace has been terrorised for years.
On May 24, the leaders claimed more than 20 people had been killed with tens of schools closed over insecurity in the region.
A security team led by the Secretary of Internal Security, GSU Commandant, and the RDU Commandant were dispatched to the area “as a precursor of stiff measures set to be undertaken to curb the further escalation of the sad state of affairs.”