A chief in Samburu has been interdicted for allegedly hosting suspected bandits who stole more than 800 goats at Gotu area in Isiolo last month.
Samburu East Deputy County Commissioner Pius Murugu said Serolipi chief helped the group of 24 young men to escape arrest on January 1, 2020.
“We have taken action because intelligence reports showed that the Serolipi chief housed the criminals and failed to share the information with the security team,” said Mr Murugu at a security meeting at Archer's Post on Tuesday.
He said nine of the suspected bandits had been identified and were being pursued by police. At least 107 goats have been recovered.
The administrator said more officers had been deployed on the bandits' likely escape routes. Mr Murugu appealed to the public to report theft cases in time.
“When livestock are stolen, we should report immediately to enable the police hunt down the suspects,” he told the meeting.
He added: “Taking longer to report the incidents makes it hard to track the criminals.”
He appealed to elders to guide youths to engage in productive activities.
“We want all youths to be in school and to transit all the way to college so that we have an informed society. This will help in doing away with the outdated [cattle] rustling that continues to ruin lives of many youths,” he noted.
A scuffle ensued during the handing over of the 107 recovered goats at Archer's Post Police Station. Isiolo residents who were accompanied by Burat Ward Representative Yarrow Hassan refused to accept the livestock.
“We will not take the goats as they are not ours. Our goats were very healthy,” said Mohamed Mohammud, who lost tens of his goats.
Shariff Ibrahim said: “We were expecting that all the 550 goats have been recovered only to find 100 dying goats, we are very disappointed.”
But Mr Murugu maintained that the goats were to be handed to Isiolo Deputy County Commissioner Mohammed Maow who would later identify their owners.
“We did not come to hand over the goats to the owners as we do not know them. Our instructions are to hand them to my Isiolo counterpart who will then hand them over to the owners,” he said.
“I am asking our DCC not to accept the goats as they are not those stolen from our people. We would rather go empty handed,” said the MCA.