The government will henceforth arm Chiefs and Assistant Chiefs serving in banditry prone areas to actively support security officers in fighting vice deeply entrenched menace the government has been unable to stump out for decades now.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki announced the government decision saying the move will be preceded by a thorough vetting of the administrators to ascertain their suitability to bear arms and accountability of use of the weapons.
“You cannot expect an officer to pursue criminals and recover stolen livestock using a baton. I have directed the security teams in the counties affected by cattle rustling to vet our chiefs and assistant chiefs so that we can arm them to protect the lives and property of citizens (wananchi).” Kindiki said.
He spoke while addressing the security officers at Arbajahan Primary School in Wajir County where he added that the administrators will also be assigned with police officers to capacitate them fight crime and enforce law and order effectively.
The CS also ordered immediate recruitment of an additional 200 National Police Reservists (NPRs) in the area as part of efforts to beef up the security sector and provide a sustainable environment for development.
“We won’t have investment and socio-economic growth in Northern Kenya without lasting peace, security and stability. We can only open up this region to investment through improved policing.” The CS said.
He lauded security officers for their selfless sacrifices in protecting the lives and property of their fellow citizens, and added that the government was keen on progressive deployment of more officers to reinforce security.
In addition, Kindiki instructed the County Commissioners of Wajir and Isiolo to initiate the formalisation of peace meetings and institutionalize the consultative framework of elders as a forum for dispute resolution.
“I strongly believe we can end the retrogressive practice of cattle rustling and clashes here if the elders are fully involved. You will constitute a 20-member team of elders from the two counties to steer peace talks and peaceful coexistence.”
Two more Anti-Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) Camps recently constructed in the area will also be opened and staffed with officers to beef up security.
The CS also noted that the government is also planning to operationalize the administrative units in the area. The CS was accompanied by Deputy Inspector General in charge of Administration Police Service Noor Gabow, Wajir County Governor Ahmed Abdullahi and local elected leaders.