Some ward representatives from two sub-counties being ravaged by insecurity have demanded the arrest of Tiaty MP William Kamket over his alleged ethnic hatred remarks on the government disarmament going on in his constituency.
The MCAs hail Baringo South and Baringo North sub-counties.
They questioned why the MP is against the security operation yet it seeks to seize illegal guns in the hands of civilians and end the perennial banditry attacks and livestock thefts which have led to the loss of lives and livelihoods.
The security operation, which targets insecurity-prone Tiaty, Baringo North and Baringo South sub-counties, has ruffled political feathers in the region with some of the leaders including Mr Kamket and Silale Ward MCA Nelson Lotela complaining that it will subject innocent civilians to suffering.
Mr Kamket has questioned why the police are harassing and shooting at innocent people, including children, yet they already have the names of the said suspects and where they come from.
“We do not want a situation where there will be a confrontation between the security officers and civilians but if they turn their guns on innocent people then the right to self-defence is inherent. People will be forced to defend themselves,” Mr Kamket.
But his remarks have not gone down with leaders whose people have borne the brunt of banditry.
Led by Mochongoi MCA Kipruto Kimosop, they said it was inappropriate for the legislator to fault the government yet its aim is to bring a lasting solution to the runaway insecurity in the region.
“We want to tell (Mr) Kamket that disarmament is not a church choir, an assembly debate or a motion of impeachment. It is an operation against bandits and terrorists who have guns even more sophisticated than security officers,” said Mr Kimosop.
He added, “It is wrong for him, after failing for many years, to stop his people from killing and stealing livestock from neighbouring to threaten the government on the ongoing operation in his constituency. He should be arrested like yesterday.”
The MCA wondered what power the legislator has to threaten a legitimate government by saying that his people will be forced to defend themselves from the alleged harassment by the police.
“How can he issue threats that his people will engage in self-defence? This is a government operation and we are demanding, as leaders from the banditry prone areas, that Kamket, [who] has no moral authority at all to threaten anybody because he has never cooperated in telling his people to surrender the arms, should be behind bars,” said Mr Kimosop.
Bartabwa Ward MCA Reuben Chepsongol said that the inciting remarks by the MP clearly insinuate that he has no good will for the disarmament.
“We are telling our counterparts from Tiaty, including the MP, that it is either they cooperate in assisting the government to mop up the illegal guns or they keep quiet. This operation, as we speak, is long overdue,” said Mr Chepsongol.
“If locals in Tiaty are complaining of harassment by the security officers carrying out operation, then what will we say of our people who have been killed by armed criminals and others being displaced from their homes after being turned paupers by the same bandits? It is uncouth, to say the least, and the operation should go on,” he added.
Hundreds have already fled their homes in Tiaty to escape from the wrath of police officers deployed to mop up illegal guns in the hands of civilians and smoke out bandits.
Among the deserted village include Riongo, Naudo, Akwichatis, Nasorot and Silale. Locals complained that the more than 150 officers from the General Service Unit and the Rapid Deployment Unit were harassing innocent civilians including children instead of going for the culprits.
The officers allegedly vandalised and torched more than 50 shops at Riong’o in Silale Ward. The area has been singled out as a hideout for bandits.
Anthony Kibet, young man from the area, complained that the government lacks proper mechanisms to seize illegal guns and instead it is going for innocent civilians.
Elders from the area have appealed to security officers carrying out operation to seek assistance from chiefs and elders in the region to identify suspected armed criminals instead of harassing and shooting at innocent civilians.