More than 200 women on Tuesday broke into tears at a public meeting to express their desperation following the beheadings of two people by suspected Somali bandits in Ngomeni, Kitui.
The wailing women, who had fled their homes, shocked Kitui Senator David Musila and Mwingi North Member of Parliament (MP) John Munuve, who had gone to console them at a makeshift camp in Kasiluni, prompting a premature closure of the meeting.
The women removed their headscarves and wept uncontrollably, some rolling on the muddy ground. Some of them said they had been rendered widows and many children orphaned over the years in an endless cycle of banditry.
Mr Musila wondered why the government had shelved plans to recruit police reservists in Mwingi, accusing it of laxity and unwillingness to contain the menace, which had claimed over 30 people.
The MP, whose relative was killed, said his constituents felt let down by the government.
Six local primary schools – Mandongoi, Ngooni, Engamba, Kasiluni, Kathungu Inyanzai and Sosoma – have been closed since January over insecurity.