The government has extended security operation targeting criminal gangs in Matungu, Kakamega County, by a month.
Kakamega County Police Commander Wilkister Verah said security agencies will now shift focus on illicit brew dens and contraband goods.
Last month, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i toured the region and directed that the General Service Unit (GSU) be deployed in Matungu.
The initial phase of the security operations ended last week of Friday.
“Investigations have established that Matungu is being used as a haven for contraband goods and illicit brews. These are fuelling criminal activities in the region,” said Ms Verah.
A section of Matungu Constituency residents has been calling for the withdrawal of GSU officers. They claimed that the officers were harassing law abiding citizens instead of pursuing criminals.
Last week, security chiefs in Kakamega County sacked Nyumba Kumi officials and village elders whom they accused of failing to help coordinate the war on crime in villages.
The attacks on Matungu sub-county residents by criminal gangs have left at least 23 people dead in the last two months. The gangs usually attack and kills their victims at night.
Fourteen suspects linked to the bizarre attacks on villagers have been arrested and arraigned in a Kakamega court as police continue with investigations into the killings.
Ms Verah, however, said the security situation in Matungu had improved.
“No new attacks have been reported in the last two weeks and this is an indication that the security operation in Matungu is beginning to bear fruit,” said county police chief.
In Kakamega Central sub-county, nine suspects found in possession of rolls of bhang were arrested as the hunt for criminals intensified.
The crackdown is targeting traders operating gambling machines within residential estates. The suspects are expected to appear in court.