Kithure Kindiki: Bandits are like Al-Shabaab or ISIS militants

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Cohesion on March 1, 2023. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki has likened bandits in Kenya to terrorist groups Al-Shabaab and ISIS.

Appearing before the Senate Committee on National Cohesion on Wednesday, March 1, Prof. Kindiki said the government's resolve to rid the country of bandits remains unwavering.

"This time around, we won't retreat. Our security forces will stay in the banditry prone areas for good," he told members of the Senate committee.

The bandit prone counties are Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Baringo, Laikipia, Turkana and Samburu.

"What we are seeing in those areas is not banditry, but terrorism. The government will treat them as terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab and ISIS," said Kindiki.

The minister stated that the onslaught on bandits won't spare politicians who aid the crime, saying he has the "blessings of my commander-in-chief [William Ruto]".

"Massive deployment of security officers will continue as long as the Government of Kenya exists," he said.

The CS further said that bandits, who crossed borders into the neighbouring countries, won't find any route back into Kenya, adding that he was in talks with Ugandan leadership to ensure bandits who fled into the country are dealt with.

"The gorges that they hide in won't be accessible to them anymore," said Prof. Kindiki.

The minister's remarks come four days after bandits shot dead a senior chief and two national police reservists in Samburu County.