|Security officers disembark from an army chopper in Baragoi during the operation to track cattle rustlers who slaughtered 42 police officers in Suguta Valley, Samburu County, last year. [PHOTO: FILE/STANDARD]|
By STEVE MKAWALE and MICHAEL SAITOTI
KENYA: Six months after the massacre of 42 policemen in Samburu in an ambush by cattle rustlers, security agents are yet to recover 40 firearms stolen from the deceased.
Not a single firearm has been surrendered following an amnesty issued by Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo months ago to residents in possession of illegal weapons and those stolen during the ambush.
The Standard has established that bandits are roaming the area freely and eight cattle rustling incidents have been reported in Baragoi area since the killing of the officers.
Samburu Governor Moses Lenolkulal yesterday expressed dismay that months after the attack not a single firearm has been recovered.
He regretted that morale among security officers deployed in the area was low because of lack of action following the attack that left their colleagues dead.
“The Government needs to invest more in ensuring security in the region. The officers on the ground are ill-equipped to face the challenges in term of transport and weaponry,” he said.
He noted laxity among security officers in the region, saying the continued killings of innocent people must be stopped. “Police feel their efforts are in vain when nothing is being done to boost their morale and equip them,” he observed.
Mr Lenolkulal said the situation was getting worse since many firearms were in wrong hands, thus contributing to rising insecurity.
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“We have to deal with cattle rustling, highway banditry along the Maralal-Baragoi road, as well as other robbery incidents. Things are getting out of hand,” he said. The Governor appealed to his neighbours in Baringo and Turkana counties to uphold peace.
“We need to make the three counties safe for investors and people living there. This can only be achieved if we leaders address the underlying issues,” he said.
Meanwhile, hundreds of university students are on a four-day walk that would cover 106 kilometres between Maralal town and Baragoi in a bid to promote peace.