State issues shoot-to-kill order in troubled counties’ border

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020 00:00 |
Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya after the signing of a peace deal between warring factions in Ndeiya at the Bomas of Kenya in Nairobi yesterday. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

Rift Valley Regional Co-ordinator George Natembeya has ordered police officers to shoot and kill criminals causing mayhem at Kiambu and Kajiado borders.

 Natembeya refuted claims thaat the tribal clashes that led to one death, several injuries and destruction of properties was as a result of livestock rustling terming the recent incident common cattle theft by criminals.

 “According to the list, the number of stolen animals from Kiambu are 39 cows and 17 goats while from Kajiado are 75 goats.

It is agreed thaat elders and security team will facilitate how they are returned,” said Natembeya.

 The peace and reconciliation meeting at Bomas of Kenya was attended by Central Regional Co-ordinator Wilfred Nyamwanga, Kajiado Governor Joseph ole Lenku and his Kiambu counterpart James Nyoro among elders and Members of Parliament from both counties.

 Ethnic tensions

Ethnic tensions have been boiling over the last few weeks at Ndeiya where a peace meeting attended by both governors, local leaders and Nyamwanga and security team on Sunday aborted after armed goons with crude weapons caused mayhem.

Natembeya castigated police officers who were at the scene for failing to use force to disperse them as lives of innocent people and themselves were in danger and condemned those who fled.

 “Next time if they try to cause mayhem, shoot them. On the allegations police officers fled on motorbikes, it’s cowardice because any police officer who is shot on the back is never buried with honour, a brave officer is shot on the chest,” said Natembeya.

To instill a lasting solution in the region, Natembeya said Anti Stock Theft Unit (ASTU) will be established and more police officers deployed.

 “There is no peace without justice, those criminals who killed a youth must face the law and also those who are perpetuating animal theft,” he said.

To offer alternative dispute resolution a chance, Natembeya said Maasai Elders through governor Ole Lenku have agreed to compensate the family of the deceased though no amount of animals can compensate for human life.

 A young man was killed during a daring daylight onslaught which saw a heavily armed gang of close to 300 youthful men invade a village in Ndeiya, Kiambu county making away with 80 heads of cattle and hundreds of goats and sheep.

Planned invasion

 During the invasion, a middle-aged man was hacked to death while several others were seriously injured as they helplessly tried to fight off the invaders who were allegedly armed with guns and other crude weapons.

 “We are sorry for the death and our elders will conduct a cleansing ritual and do as the culture dictates,” Ole Lenku said.

 He also said culprits must be apprehended and should not hide with their tribes.

“We are committed to peace and also root for alternative dispute resolution instead of resulting in deadly clashes,” he said.

Nyoro echoed Ole Lenku’s sentiment saying the police battalion, as a buffer zone in the region, is not a solution.

 “We are going to support elders, chiefs and local leaders in regular meetings to cool the animosity. We cannot go to the routes criminals are driving us to,” said Nyoro.

 Elders from both sides said it was unfortunate for the clashes to escalate to that level of tribal cashes after the two communities have lived in harmony for decades.

 Justus Ole Manyara apologized for the loss of life calling for a lasting peace but urged the security team to be fair and partial in their administration of justice. 

Joseph Mukirai who said elders from both communities signed a peace agreement in 1941 and must be respected echoed his sentiments that there will be no war between them.

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