Turkana youth protest establishment of a police post

Nyanza Regional Police Commander Manase Musiyoka cuts the ribbon during the opening of the Awendo police post on April 28, 2023. [Caleb Kingwara, Standard]

Proposed construction of a police post on a piece of land at Kanamkemer ward in Turkana county has sparked off protests from local youths who claim the parcel was given to them by a former legislator.

The group on Thursday opposed any move to use the land and marched to the governor's office to present their grievances and why they were against establishment of the post on the land.

They claimed that there have been several attempts by a section of politicians to grab the land since 2013 and that they have never succeeded pointing out that they have documents.

According to the youth's chairman Mr Charles Loroo, they said former women representative Joyce Emanigor gave them the piece of land in 2013.

They said it was meant for a youth center where it will provide services including a library, indoor and outdoor games including football, volleyball and basketball.

"There is already an existing structure for a social hall on the land, that was built by Emanigor through the National Government-Affirmative Action Fund (NG-AAF)," said Loroo.

The former Turkana women representative had an idea of supporting youth talents through sports and that is why such a project was designed purposely to make youths busy, the youth official further said.

He pointed out that the youth projects would assist reduce idleness and cases of drug abuse in the area.

"I urged Turkana Central MP to stop interfering with youth Centre project because there are many youths who are depending on it for recreation. We are not against the idea by the MP to have an installation of a police post in our village, but there is still bare land that can be used to construct it other than that which had been given to the youth," said Loroo.

They hit out at area MP Joseph Namwar for allegedly using force to move them from their land without consulting the community and the youths.

They added that the national government can buy alternative land and construct the police post using the NG-CDF funds.

Speaking to The Sunday Standard on phone, Namwar said they are in agreement that security is paramount and cannot wait any longer since it is an urgent need.

"In Turkana Central, Kanamkemer is mostly affected because of insecurity and NG-CDF has given it as the first priority," said Namwar.

Namwar further said Kanamkemer is proposed to be a division and there is need to enhance government presence and soon, an Assistance County Commissioner office will be opened.

"On Thursday, we met with 200 Kanamkemer youths in the presence of area MCA, area Chief and area OCPD and no one is against getting youth's concerns. This will continue until we arrive at a consensus. All we need is focused decision making and leadership to agree on where to locate these requisite and especial amenities," Namwar explained.

On the other hand, Turkana Women representative Cecilia Asinyen also accused the MP for not informing her office for the proposed construction of the Police post on a land that belongs to the youth.

She indicated that the youths Centre project is under her docket and nobody has consulted her about the proposed project.

"The land is already developed, why bring a police post to a place where it is already earmarked for youth and has a structure like a social hall, and a group of the community must be involved because that is the public utility," said Asinyen.