Leaders want army deployed as insecurity intensifies over reservists’ disarmament

County leaders have called for the immediate deployment of the army to the region to address growing insecurity.

Governor Ndiritu Muriithi and Laikipia West MP Patrick Mariru said a recent decision by the National Security Committee to disarm the national police reservists had only served to embolden bandits.

The leaders warned that the security situation was spiralling dangerously out of control and urged Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to send in the military.

“How can a responsible government withdraw guns from legitimate police reservists and leave armed bandits, cattle rustlers and terrorists to roam freely, killing and stealing from the people? Are the people meant to protect themselves or is there a silent plan to dislodge them from their homes?” asked Mr Muriithi.

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Githiga, Rumuruti and Ol Moran wards in Laikipia West are the most affected areas after they suffered five bandit attacks that left residents and police officers nursing injuries following a raid where over 100 cows and goats were stolen.

Two weeks ago, a security chief attached to Jennings Farm in Rumuruti died after he was shot by illegal herders who invaded the farm.

Muriithi noted that the national government had successfully smoked out and disarmed bandits from Mt Elgon and Boni forests, adding that a similar operation to what was currently being conducted in Matungu should also be rolled out in Laikipia.

Cardinal role

“The cardinal role of any government is to protect the lives of its people and their property. It is of no use holding press conferences and speaking with authority, but on the ground you have left armed bandits to hit us at will,” he said.

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During a recent visit to Nanyuki, Dr Matiang’i announced that the national government had resolved to disarm all police reservists so that they could vet them afresh and dismiss those who were recruited irregularly.

The CS said the exercise would also enable them conduct digital registration of the reservists.

But Muriithi noted that the Government should have deployed security agents to protect residents even as fresh vetting goes on.

“If the issue was to re-vet the NPR, then bring the army to replace them because withdrawing the entire force and leaving the citizens unprotected is irresponsible.

“We are demanding an immediate restoration of guns to the police reservists, who must also be well provided for and remunerated,” said Muriithi.

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Mr Mariru said that the CS should use force to tackle the issue of illegal weapons instead of issuing ultimatums to the bandits. He noted that police reservists were responsible for providing most of the security in the region.

“The efforts to disarm reservists are misplaced because bandits are left to roam freely yet the decision-makers have no idea what is going on here.”

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Governor Ndiritu Muriithinational police reservistsBanditryInsecurity