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Chiefs in Baringo put on notice over insecurity, cattle rustling

Tuesday March 03 2015
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A herder takes his cattle for grazing. Chiefs in Baringo County who turn a blind eye to cattle rustling have been warned that they risk being sacked. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By WYCLIFF KIPSANG

Chiefs in Baringo County who turn a blind eye to cattle rustling have been put on notice.

Baringo County Commissioner Peter Okwanyo issued the warning as the government moved to stamp out cases of insecurity, which have left more than 20 people dead and 5,000 displaced in the past one month.

Mr Okwanyo said chiefs risked getting sacked if they do not fight rustling in their areas.

“How can a person be killed by people suspected to be from your area and you don’t have any information on who is behind the heinous act?

"You will not be of any help to the government and the best we can do is to send you home,” said the administrator.

This comes as Baringo South Sub-County commissioner Saul Moywaywa was sent on compulsory leave over the incessant attacks, the latest being the killing of a man by raiders at Arabal last week.

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The insecurity in the county dominated speeches during Deputy President William Ruto’s visit on Sunday.

Mr Ruto attended the consecration of Mr Musa Kamuren as the suffragan Bishop of the ACK Nakuru Diocese at Mogotio Anglican Church.

INSECURITY ESCALATING

Local leaders led by area Governor Benjamin Cheboi and MPs Hellen Sambili (Mogotio), Grace Kiptui (Women Representative) and Moses Lessonet (Eldama-Ravine) demanded to know the National Government’s plan to address the insecurity menace which is threatening to get out of hand.

“We’ve a laid down a clear development road map to change the livelihoods of our people but our efforts are proving futile due to rampant cases of insecurity in some parts of the county which is also threatening to scare away potential investors,” said Mr Cheboi.

The Deputy President who met all elected leaders from pastoralist communities last week said that an elaborate government campaign against cattle rustlers will begin in the next two to three weeks in all the affected areas.

“We will mobilise all resources within our means to stamp out this menace of cattle rustling.

"We will do everything possible to make sure that people of Baringo and other areas are secure. Banditry has no place in the 21st century,”said Mr Ruto.

Apart from killings and displacement, insecurity in Baringo County has adversely affected education with learning paralysed in more than 20 schools in Baringo North and Baringo South sub-counties after learners and their parents fled volatile areas fearing for their lives.

Leaders from the cattle rustling prone areas have threatened to move to court if the government fails to recognise internally displaced persons (IDPs) as a result of rustling and compensate them just like the 2007/2008 post-election violence (PEV) victims.

“Many of our people have rendered paupers after livestock which was their major source of livelihood were stolen by armed raiders and it is only fair that they are compensated to begin their lives afresh,” said Baringo South MP Grace Kipchoim.

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