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Samburu bandits kill one person as MCA laid to rest

Rift Valley
 KDF soldiers take positions during the burial of the late blind teacher Joseph Kibet who was shot dead by bandits on February 10, 2024. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Bandits raided the Lolmolog area and killed one person a few kilometers away from where the burial of the late Angata Nyanyokie MCA Paul Leshimpiro was taking place in Morijo in Samburu county. 

The attack that took place 60 kilometres from the burial site painted a picture of hopelessness among residents as bandit attacks continued unabated. 

Samburu leaders who attended the funeral lashed out at the government for complacency in tackling banditry in the region. 

They called on Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki to come up with a strategy to tackle the attacks that have left more than 200 people dead, hundreds of families displaced, and ruined the local economy. 

Samburu Governor Lati Lelelit claimed that Prof Kindiki has refused to meet local leaders to discuss insecurity in the region. 

"As leaders, we have suggestions and opinions we believe can end the insecurity in Samburu. Please, we need a meeting with you," pleaded the governor. 

But last week, after the attack on the MCA, the CS flew to Samburu, where he announced new security measures aimed at taming the attacks. 

He said a security team will be deployed to patrol the roads leading to Baragoi to stop bandit attacks. 

Kindiki further announced that plans were underway to review the ongoing security operation in the region and strengthen the security teams. 

However, the governor suggested that the CS can start by deploying security officers in areas they have identified as hot spots to tame the runaway insecurity. 

"Rapid Deployment Unit and Administration Police are more suitable to deal with the bandits in areas we have identified as troubled spots," he said. 

Bandits shot dead Leshimpiro on February 25, while he was on his way home. His driver was not injured during the incident. 

Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda, who also attended the funeral, said she was in deep pain over the killings in the region. 

"As leaders, we cannot be silent when our people are being killed every day. We will continue to cry until the government responds to our cries. You may have silenced Leshimpiro, but you have raised the voices of many other people in our community," she said  

Samburu Senator Steve Lelegwe said the community has not known peace for long, yet the pleas of the leaders go unheard. 

"We are Kenyans like any other Kenyans elsewhere in the country. We enjoy the same rights enshrined in our Constitution. The government must protect the people of Samburu and their property, in the same way other Kenyans are protected. We are not lesser Kenyans," he said. 

Samburu North MP Eli Letipila claimed that bandits have taken advantage of poor roads leading to Baragoi to stage an ambush and attack innocent people. 

"We demand that a unit of security personnel be stationed along the road to patrol the route and escort vehicles using that road. This will minimise attacks and the many ambushes on the road," he said. 

Letipila urged the government to speed up investigations into the death of the MCA. 

Former Samburu North MP Aloise Lentoimaga claimed that Leshimpiro's death was planned and the killers were out to eliminate him. 

"This (killing) was an execution, as the killers only targeted him and left the driver unharmed. We demand justice for the family," he said. 

Former Samburu governor Moses Lenolkulal requested the national government to consider deploying the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) D6 unit to expand and rehabilitate the roads in the region. 

"We also request for deployment of four ASTU companies at Malaso, Kurkurand Amaya to open camps there. That will end the insecurity," Lenolkulal said.

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