State asked to beef security along Tanzania border

By Kipchumba Kemei

NAROK, KENYA:  Maasai leaders want the Government to ask Tanzanian authorities to tackle banditry and poaching in areas around Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

They claimed on Tuesday that marauding armed bandits have unhindered access to Kenya and accused the authorities of doing nothing to contain it.

“The armed bandits who cross at will have in the last one year killed people, wild animals including elephants for tusks, raped women among other crimes yet our Government is doing nothing. We ask it to act,” said their spokesperson Patrick Ntutu, the Narok West MP.

Ntutu said there was proliferation of guns around the Mara region, claiming hardly a day passes without bandits robbing the community neighboring Tanzania.

In the last one week three people including a Ministry of Lands official have been killed by bandits at Naikara area along the border.

Last Saturday, two brothers who were livestock traders were killed, prompting villagers to retaliate, killing three of the bandits and recovering an AK 47 rifle and 24 rounds of ammunitions.

Leaders who included County representatives said the Kenya-Tanzania border was porous and requested the Government to set up a security station at Olpusimoru area to check on insecurity and poaching.

They blamed the provincial administration and the local police for failing to protect Kenyans, claiming that people have left the area since last Saturday in fear of retaliatory attacks by Tanzanians.

“Villagers have left their homes together with their belongings including cattle in fear that after they killed three Tanzanian bandits there will be retaliatory attacks. There is need for the Government to arm people living along the border to counter them,” said Ntutu.

He said schools in the area were yet to reopen for the second term because pupils and parents have deserted their homes due to insecurity, claiming that a Tanzania community-the Sonjo- have started settling in abandoned farms.

Speaking separately, County Women Representative Soipan Tuya condemned the Saturday incursion into Kenya by armed Tanzanian bandits and asked the Government to assure residents living along the two East African countries border of their security.

“The Government should enter talks with Tanzania for frequent attacks which have also affected economic activities in the area to stop. I appeal to the residents not to retaliate,” she said.

Narok police boss Peterson Maelo said a suspected accomplice of the bandits has been arrested and asked the residents to volunteer information that would lead to further arrests.

Narok South DC Chimwaga Mongo said the two countries security teams will meet this week to assess the security situation along the border and appealed for calm.