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BY CORRESPONDENT,KORIR JUMA,19TH FEB 2018-Interior CS Fred Matiang’i on Monday February 19 toured the troubled kerio valley and announced various measures to curb the ever increasing problem of cattle rustling as well as insecurity which has left many schools closed and dwindling of the region’s economy.
Matiangi has ordered the immediate re-opening of at least 50 schools shut down due to insecurity in Kerio Valley.
Matiang’i directed Elgeyo Marakwet County Commissioner Abdullahi Hiddi to ensure police provide 24-hour security to all schools.
The CS said schools will be secured by at least one police officer daily.
The CS toured Chesegon on the West Pokot–Elgeyo Marakwet border before heading to Tot, Marakwet East on Monday.
“We have agreed that learning resumes in all schools. This morning, I went to a school which was empty. The children don’t understand why we are fighting,” he said.
Matiang’i also said a special Deputy County Commissioner will be appointed for Kerio Valley, whose mandate will be to lead a team of special police units in fighting banditry in Tot area where he spoke.
“The new Deputy County Commissioner will be charged with enhancing the fight against bandits across the borders of the three counties in Kerio Valley.”
Matiangi has also asked at least 350 police officers and more than 400 police reservists currently working in Kerio Valley to move away from trading centres to the borders of Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet and West Pokot.
The CS warned politicians suspected to be inciting and sponsoring banditry in the area, saying they will soon be apprehended and arraigned in court.
“No leader can claim to be above the law. It is shameful that after 54 years of independence, we are discussing cattle rustling,” Matiang’i said.
“Leaders who continue preaching hatred and fanning cattle rustling … your days are numbered. We will be ruthless with this matter. I am not here to do public relations.”
Elgeyo Marakwet leaders led by Senator Kipchumba Murkomen noted the attacks have claimed at least 15 lives since January 5 and paralysed development.
“I am tired of burying people killed in cattle rustling attacks every weekend. It has reached a point where we no longer discuss development matters in our constituencies,” Murkomen said.
Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos called for a probe on politicians fanning banditry and said he will cooperate should he also be investigated.
The region has have been worst by bandit attacks in recent weeks.