Deputy President William Ruto is on Thursday expected to tour the troubled Kerio Valley amid continuing clashes that have left at least 20 people dead.
The DP’s visit comes after a wave of armed attacks between communities from West Pokot and Elgeyo-Marakwet counties associated with banditry and cattle rustling.
This has resulted in the closure of public facilities and businesses as well as the disruption of lives and loss of property.
Mr Ruto is scheduled to address a security meeting, commission a number of Kenya Police Reservists, who will help address insecurity challenges in the region, and launch a National Youth Service security road programme along the River Kerio.
But a cold reception could be awaiting the DP, who has for a long time been accused of turning a blind eye to the clashes in the region.
On Tuesday, Eldoret and Iten were rocked by major protests by members of the Marakwet community, who demanded that none other than the President visit the area to address the insecurity issue.
WENT TO KISII
“We asked the DP to intervene, but he decided to go to Kisii County for campaigns when our people are being killed. Why is he coming now?” posed former Kerio West MP Francis Mutwol.
He spoke as Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet announced changes in the police force, including the transfer of Elgeyo-Marakwet County Police Commander Shariff Abdallah, who has moved to police headquarters in Nairobi as head of operations.
According to a circular whose contents have been revealed to Nation.co.ke, Mr Abdallah will be replaced by Tom Odera, formerly the Kajiado County police commander.
The changes come only a day after Deputy Inspector-General of Police Joel Kitili toured the region, in the company of General Service Unit commandant Stephen Chelimo and Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Wanyama Musiambo.
Mr Kitili, who held a closed-door meeting of regional security chiefs, blamed officers for their slow response to the attacks carried out in broad daylight by "criminals."
He spoke as Mr Musiambo assured students that this year’s national examinations and learning in schools will not be disrupted by the ongoing clashes.
Mr Musiambo's statement came as reports indicated that learners and teachers had deserted schools following sporadic gun fights between suspected Pokot attackers and Marakwet warriors.
The administrator reaffirmed that security had been beefed up in the area to ensure that businesses, examinations and learning are not disrupted.
“Enough security personnel have been deployed to the conflict-prone areas," Mr Musiambo said on Wednesday.