Kindiki vows to curb cattle rustling in Meru

Police officers on patrol against cattle rustlers. [File, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has promised to eradicate rampant cattle rustling in Meru.

The CS urged police to step up measures to address the menace.

Prof Kindiki visited Mutuati in Igembe North sub-county in the cattle-rustling-prone northern Meru over the weekend, where he held a security briefing and consultative meeting with security bosses from the county, sub-county and division levels.

His visit came after a spate of cattle raids mounted by armed bandits from neighbouring counties who drove away hundreds of livestock.

Police pursued the cattle rustlers and recovered some animals.

Local leaders led by Igembe North MP Julius Taitumu have appealed to the CS to order a recovery operation and arrest of the criminals who have rendered families in the area destitute.

Kindiki assured that the security personnel would not relent on the government’s mission to provide security and bring to book the perpetrators of the raids, some of which have left people dead and scores injured.

The government has deployed National Police Reservists (NPRs) to support the security personnel in the northern parts of Meru county to contain persistent livestock theft, Kindiki said.

“The other additional interventions include deploying specialised elite formations of our security agencies, setting up of additional formed up units camps, regular multi-agency security patrols, and bringing Meru North, Isiolo, and more areas in Samburu East as 'disturbed and dangerous' within the meaning of the National Public Order Act and the National Police Service Act,” he said.

The CS assured that the police would work to prevent theft of livestock and loss of lives in Meru and other areas that had experienced repeated attacks.

“Make it your priority security issue, and we will work together and eliminate his problem, in the shortest time possible. Of late, there have been several raids. This cannot be left to continue anymore,” he told the security chiefs.

At the same time, Kindiki put on notice security personnel and administrators working with criminals, saying appropriate action would be taken against them.

“We are taking action against officers who are already serving either in uniform or without uniform, who we get evidence that they are part of the problem. They are looking the other way and are allowing criminals to get away with crime,” he said.

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