Curfew in Kerio Valley will tame rising insecurity, Matiang'i says

Interior CS Fred Matiang'i and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai consult during the Rotary of Kenya Fellowship at the Royal Nairobi Golf Club on June 2, 2022. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The government is set to impose a 30-day curfew in Kerio Valley to tame insecurity, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has said.

The CS was speaking yesterday at the Administration Police Training College (APTC) in Embakasi. He chaired top-level security meetings with senior police and national government administration officers.

“I am waiting for a meeting by the national security council on Elgeyo Marakwet and its decision on placing some parts of the county under curfew.” The CS said incessant banditry attacks have made it necessary for a dawn-to-dusk curfew.

“We have exhausted all means of resolving the problem through meetings. We are going to deploy a heavy security presence that has never been witnessed before.” Last week three pupils of Tot Primary School were shot dead and six other people injured in Kerio Valley.

The CS addressed the incident at Masimba on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway where four people were shot dead during a protest over human-wildlife conflicts.

He said the government will compensate victims of the human-wildlife conflict and support affected families on the border of Makueni and Kajiado counties.

The victims were shot dead by GSU officers tasked with dispersing the crowds. The demonstration was sparked by an incident in which a resident was killed by an elephant.

Meanwhile, two months before the general elections, the CS said security agencies are ready to support the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in conducting the August 9 election.

“I have received reports from eight regions on our preparedness to support the IEBC to conduct peaceful elections. The report indicates most parts of the country are peaceful,” the CS said.

Dr Matiang’i was with Interior PS Karanja Kibicho, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai, DCI boss George Kinoti and eight regional commissioners. 

Addressing Rotary Club members in Nairobi on Thursday, CS Matiang’i said security agencies are continuously monitoring the situation in places prone to crime during the election season.

The CS was responding to concerns raised by members of the Rotary Club over extrajudicial killings and ethnic flare-ups in slums.

“Extrajudicial killing is a policy that has been adopted by some countries but it is not part of our philosophy. We are strictly bound by law to arrest a suspect and arraign them before the court.”

The CS said the country’s policing capacity has grown to 10 times better than it was a decade ago.

“So far, there is nothing that can warrant raising the level of alertness in the country. We have a functional early warning system that begins at the community level and a robust information sharing structure.”

He said security agencies have been resourced with 2,700 vehicles, recently procured to enhance the operational and logistical capacity of national government administrators.