CS Matiang'i says government planning curfew in Kerio Valley

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i condoles with residents of Masimba in Kajiado County on June 3, 2022 after four people from the area were shot dead in protests on June 2. [Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Fred Matiang’i says the government will impose a 30-day dusk to dawn curfew in Kerio Valley, Turkana County to tame unrest.

Matiang’i also says the State will embark on a mass disarmament exercise in the North Rift region.

The CS says continued armed conflicts and banditry attacks in the areas have necessitated action.

“There are criminals challenging the government’s resolve, and we are going to pursue them to the farthest end possible. We have exhausted all the means to arrest the situation in that area. It now requires a whole new approach because we have been left with no option,” Matiang’i said during his meeting with senior national government administrators at the Administration Police Training College (APTC) in Embakasi, Nairobi on Friday, June 3.

The CS, however, did not reveal when exactly the curfew or the disarmament exercise will formally begin.

On Sunday, May 29, three children and a herder were shot dead and six others injured by suspected bandits in Kerio Valley.

The children, who were pupils of Tot Primary School, died on the spot in the haphazard shooting by the suspected bandits.

Election preparedness

Matiang’i said adequate plans are in place to ensure there is peace during the August 9 General Election.

The regional and county security teams have been directed to develop and undertake dry runs on tailored election security plans within the next two weeks.

“In two of our regions, we have begun doing simulations and the rest will follow suit next week,” said the Interior ministry chief.

His meeting comes on the back of a report by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) that mapped out parts of the country that could experience high levels of violence during the August polls.

The six high-risk counties are Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu and Kericho.

Masimba protests probe

At the Friday meeting, Matiang’i said President Uhuru Kenyatta had tasked him to investigate what caused the fatal shooting of demonstrators at Masimba in Kajiado County on Thursday, June 2.

Four people were killed in the protests and three others seriously injured.

The demonstrators, who had barricaded the Mombasa-Nairobi Highway, were protesting the increase in human-wildlife conflict in the area.

A female teacher from Mashuru Sub-County in Kajiado County was recently killed by stray elephants, sparking the June 2 protests.

The Nairobi-Mombasa Highway remained blocked for a better part of Thursday morning as the demonstrators sought to be heard by the local authorities, including the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

Police said the protests turned ugly when the demonstrators hurled stones at a GSU lorry that was heading the Mombasa direction.

It is alleged that the GSU officers fired at the crowd, causing four deaths and three injuries.

“The president ordered the dispatching of senior security team, led by myself and the Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, to launch immediate investigations, condole with families of the victims and ensure medical attention for the injured,” CS Matiang’i said in his address.

The Friday meeting was also attended by Interior PS Dr Karanja Kibicho, IG Mutyambai and the two Deputy Inspector-Generals of Police, Edward Mbugua and Noor Gabow, as well as members of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC).​