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Chiefs ought to be armed in order to tackle insecurity in Kenya, leaders say

RIFT VALLEY
By LEONARD KORIR | December 14th 2013

BY LEONARD KORIR

TRANS MARA, KENYA: Local leaders in Trans Mara Sub County have petitioned the government to provide firearms to chiefs in the region arguing that they were working under risky conditions.

The call comes barely a week following the brutal killing of a chief in the area while he was on line of duty.

Osinoni location chief, Stephen Ole Nankoris was speared to death in one of the homesteads in his area of jurisdiction where he had been called to resolve a family dispute.

Two other chiefs have also reported that they had been threatened with death by an armed man who is on the loose at Olomismis area in Kilgoris.

The local leaders led by former senior chief, Julius Ole Maki and Daniel Kalasinga said chiefs were working in very risky environment which necessitate the use of firearms.

They noted that it was ironical that the same chiefs were expected to crack down on armed criminals they have nothing to defend themselves in case such criminals turn against them.

Speaking during this year’s Jamhuri day celebrations at Kilgoris D.E.B, the leaders also appealed to the government to consider allocating every chief at least five police officers to ensure their safety while discharging their duties.

“It is very sad that our chiefs are constantly under pressure to deal with various forms of crimes in their areas of jurisdiction with their bare hands. How for instance do we expect chiefs in cattle rustling prone areas to trail animals while armed with a walking stick yet the rustlers are heavily armed with modern guns?” posed Kalasinga.

Maki said chiefs and their assistants were always the first targets of criminals and that they ought to be provided with proper self-security if they were to carry out their duties.

“If these provincial administrators are not assured of their security, then sooner than later they will be tempted not to report incidents of crime for fear of being targeted by concerned criminal gangs,” said Maki.

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