Police in Isiolo have differed with herders on an operation to recover 418 cattle stolen by bandits last week.
During the raid in Loruko on Monday, three people were shot dead, two injured and four are still missing.
The herders have accused the police of slow response and faulted the officers for seizing more than 200 cattle in Gambela, Tigania East yet no stolen animal had been found in the herd.
On Saturday, a contingent of police officers who kicked off the operation seized 204 cattle and took them to Isiolo Stadium for identification by affected herders.
Isiolo OCPD Mohammed Bakuli said the 204 cattle were recovered in Tigania East in a joint operation between security officers from Isiolo and Tigania East.
But Mr James Kipsoi, accused the police of rounding up his cattle at Gambela despite affected herders failing to identify any stolen livestock.
“The police returned the 204 cattle to us because no stolen animal was found. We do not understand why the police took our animals yet the affected herders were there to identify their stolen cattle,” Mr Kipsoi said.
A herder who lost his cattle said they were yet to recover any stolen cattle from those seized by the police.
“The seized cattle was returned to their owners on Saturday evening because there was no stolen animal among them. The police have taken too long to conduct and operation because the incident happened on Monday last week. We are afraid that the raiders will have disappeared before they are traced,” the herder said.
But the OCPD said owners of the stolen cattle positively identified the recovered livestock and have been handed over to them.
Mr Bakuli said police have leads and are pursuing some suspects who cut across Isiolo, Meru and Laikipia counties.
“The operation will continue until we recover the remaining cattle and return them to the real owners,” said Mr Bakuli.