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Ole Lenku must ensure justice for Nyakach residents

By Standard Reporter | November 10th 2013

By Standard Reporter

Enough cannot be said about the sorry state of security in our country. Petty criminals are harassing innocent wananchi in the same measure as organised criminal gangs are terrorising their targets.

In between the two extremes are kidnappers, rapists, rogue drivers, illicit brewers and illegal drug pushers all of who measure their success against the pain and suffering they inflict on their victims everywhere and anywhere in the country.

In a village setting, a resident would naturally run to elected leaders for intervention in the event of a security scare of a magnitude beyond his or her capacity to handle. And that is as it should be. Leaders must necessarily go beyond the call of duty to ensure the security of the people they lead is assured.

And so the Thursday night assault on everything sensible in Nyakach, where a gang invaded the home of the area MP’s parents, killed them and set the house on fire must call to attention the depth to which insecurity has sunk. It is not enough for area security chiefs to issue assurances that the criminals will be brought to book.

The Nyakach horror (for want of a better word) is particularly disturbing least of all because of the social standing of the victims. Essentially, insecurity is no respecter of social status. By and large, insecurity for one is insecurity for all.

What makes the criminal act in Nyakach unique is the fact that the MP, Mr Aduma Owuor, had severally raised concern on insecurity in his constituency with all the relevant security agencies.

He has, more than once, raised the matter in Parliament; even indicating that his life was in danger.

He has personally led his constituents in peaceful demonstrations against insecurity in the area including carrying the body of a victim of gang attack to the doorstep of the office of area police boss; all this in the hope that the message would be well and truly received and acted upon.

Clearly that has not happened.

Does it bother security agencies in the area that gangs have killed 20 people in one constituency over a period of seven months? Does it bother Harambee House that a Member of Parliament has been assaulted by police officers for speaking out against insecurity in his area?

Even sadder is the apparent tolerance of a traditions-old crime by both security agencies and the public. Theft of animals using crude and sophisticated weapons has been baptised “cattle rustling” and there is a tendency to accept and live with it as a lifestyle.

In real sense, “cattle rustling” is robbery with violence and must be confronted with the full force of the relevant laws. What complicates this crime in Nyakach is that security officers have been accused of complacency arising from their lethargic response to reported cases of livestock theft along the Nyakach-Kericho border.

Security chiefs have promised to act on the killing of the MP’s parents.

And here is the big question: it is these same officers the MP has been reporting insecurity to; it is these same officers the MP accuses of being a threat to his personal security; it is these same officers on the spot over the assault of the MP which left his driver with spinal injuries. Can these same officers get to the bottom of the murders?

Previously, officers found to be wanting have been transferred from their stations. Our position is that transferring rogue officers only serves to spread the rot.

The Cabinet Secretary for Interior has promised to be uncompromising when it comes to security of Kenyans. When he suspected that 15 Immigration officers were a threat to national security on account of the jobs they were holding, he fired them.

What will Joseph ole Lenku do to obtain justice for the people of Nyakach and indeed, while he is at it, the country at large?

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