Chiefs and assistant chiefs in North Eastern region will be given firearms in efforts to contain banditry, Interior CS Kithure Kindiki says.
Kindiki made the statement in Arbajahan Primary School, Wajir County on Thursday evening.
According to him, the administrators will have to undergo vetting before they are given the firearms to support them in the fight against banditry.
“Interior Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Kithure Kindiki, has announced that the move will be preceded by a thorough vetting of the administrators to ascertain their suitability to bear arms and accountability of use of the weapons,”
“You cannot expect an officer to pursue criminals and recover stolen livestock using a baton. I have directed the security teams in the counties affected by cattle rustling to vet our chiefs and assistant chiefs so that we can arm them to protect the lives and property of wananchi,” he added.
Kindiki has also directed the recruitment of additional 200 National Police Reservists (NPRs), which he argues is part of efforts to beef up the security sector and provide a sustainable environment for development.
“We won’t have investment and socio-economic growth in Northern Kenya without lasting peace, security, and stability. We can only open up this region to investment through improved policing.”
He has also instructed Wajir and Isiolo County Commissioners to help the people embrace peace meetings. He has also given the duo a duty to come up with a framework of dispute resolution, which is within the culture.
The Interior CS was accompanied by Deputy Police IG Noor Gabow, Wajir County Governor Ahmed Abdullahi, and other local elected leaders.
The leaders also promised to open and staff two recently constructed anti stock theft police units.
This comes two days after the CS ordered all herders who have invaded parts of Laikipia, Mwingi and Kitui counties to vacate the areas with immediate effect or face forceful eviction.
Kindiki blamed the herders for the rising spates of cattle rustling and insecurity as they fought over the pasture.