Opinion: Go beyond platitudes in providing security

Cattle rustlers photo:courtesy
The pain of residents of Elgeyo Marakwet and neighbouring areas appears set to continue as cattle rustlers step up their free run of the region. Last week, three people, one of them a 16-year-old schoolboy who were on patrol to safeguard their livestock, were killed by the bandits.

A security operation that was ordered into Kerio Valley in February this year after vicious attacks in the area seems to have fizzled out.

Other than the complaints of harassment residents lodge against police officers, the bandits there seem to enjoy a form of superiority over our security forces.

In March this year, while Deputy President William Ruto was on an official visit to Kerio Valley, bandits opened fire in the vicinity where he was addressing a rally. That goes to show how vulnerable ordinary citizens are to bandit attacks. The Government gives the impression of being utterly unable to protect its own citizens from internal aggression.

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The police cannot simply be waiting until some attack has been staged; lives lost for them to come out and assure Kenyans no stone shall be left unturned. That is now a tired cliché.

The police, and indeed the Government, should move away from giving platitudes and, for once, act to free citizens in bandit areas of the yoke of living in perpetual fear.

It is not acceptable that a ragtag group of individuals can run rings around our security agencies at will.

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