For a General who had made a career out of being tough, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery’s body language was conspicuously slack as he stood to address political leaders from pastoralist communities at Keekorock Lodge in Narok on a hot Valentine’s Day afternoon in 2015.
After years of several failed attempts to restore sanity and peace in the north by mopping up all illegal firearms, the government had decided to change tack. Following days of negotiations between leaders at the lodge and no solution in sight on how to deal with insecurity, General Nkaissery suddenly came up with a deal.
“We want to register all the guns. If you don’t register a gun, that will be an illegal gun. Later on we will be able to know how many guns are in civilian hands in this country. That way if your community misbehaves we will come and take away those firearms,” he said.
When his time to speak came, Deputy President William Ruto, who sat pensively as the General outlined his new measures, had an ace up his sleeve that would be the silver bullet to the illegal arms menace.
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