MPs seek audience with Ruto over insecurity in North Rift

National Police reservists after being commissioned by Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Malim Mohamed during a security meeting in Mochongoi, Baringo South on March 8, 2022. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Legislators from North Rift are now seeking an audience with President William Ruto over insecurity in the region.

The leaders from Turkana and Samburu counties appeared on Thursday before the National Assembly Security and Administration committee where they criticized government efforts in addressing banditry in the region.

Turkana South MP John Ariko said that the tactics employed by Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki and his team were more focused on instant result rather than seeking to cure the issues at the core of the inter-communal wars.

“The current approach to insecurity in the region is ignorant given that it is only exacerbating the situation. We as MPs from all the five counties need a meeting with President William Ruto to address these issues because the CS has failed us,” he said.

Ariko explained that boundary disputes were at the heart of the conflict and successive governments had failed to clearly demarcate them leading to incessant disputes.

“Boundaries between Baringo and West Pokot have clearly been labeled but that is not the case between Turkana and West Pokot. This remains to be a source of conflict,” added the MP.

He also faulted Kindiki for excluding local leaders when crafting security strategies.

“The CS has never called a meeting for the MPs in the region and this would greatly help him in addressing the issues that face our communities,” he said.

Samburu West MP Naisula Lesuuda disclosed that 54 Kenyans from the region had lost their lives since August 2022 whereas 24 were maimed and livestock killed.

“It's unfortunate that things such as cattle rustling are seen as normal because they have been happening since we were born but not as the vice that they are. I urge this committee to be part of putting an end to such practices and restore peace and security in our region,” Lesuuda said.

She further accused a section of MPs in the region of being behind the banditry attacks, incitement and other criminal activities.

The Samburu West MP also accused leaders of Tiati and Baringo constituencies of encroaching on their land and building a school in a well-orchestrated ploy to expand their boundaries.

“Tati has built two classrooms in Nasur while Baringo has built an ECD. This is a strategy they use so that they can claim that as their turf and push us up,” she said

Lesuuda also spoke to incitement by other leaders to take up arms and fight back.

“There are those who keep asking me why we as the people of Samburu shouldn’t organize ourselves and fight back but the reality is we do not even have the young people to fight because they are busy in school," she said.