• The CS who was in Kithirune Methodist Church said the government had intensified the fight against banditry.
• The CS commended police officers for their efforts in dealing with banditry.
At least 336 heads of cattle were recovered on Saturday night in Igembe, Meru county.
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki on Sunday said the livestock had been stolen by bandits.
"We are still looking for 16 others which have not yet been recovered," he said.
The CS who was in Kithirune Methodist Church said the government had intensified the fight against banditry.
"Our police officers have pulled up their socks and will soon eradicate banditry once and for all..
"I said all those cattle rustlers should look for something else to do. In North Rift they were even stealing cattle as we were doing our meeting but we wiped them even in Meru we will eradicate this menace," he said.
The CS commended police officers for their efforts in dealing with banditry.
"Police officers should not allow people to kill them, they should use the weapons they have to make sure that bandits do not cause loss of property and lives."
Kindiki reaffirmed that the government will stand with police who lawfully use weapons to defend Kenyans.
"Security officers are instructed to use the firearms they hold to lawfully protect citizens and their property. Armed criminals daring security agencies will be dealt with ruthlessly."
Kindiki highlighted that the three-pronged approach adopted in tackling livestock theft was working.
The approach is part of the Interior Ministry’s initiative to curb and fight banditry and livestock theft in the country.
"Our security officers are directed to not only recover all stolen livestock, but identity, apprehend and prosecute masterminds, financiers and perpetrators of banditry," Kindiki said.
Under the three-pronged approach, in the event of successful livestock theft, Kindiki made it clear that security agencies must recover all the stolen animals and arrest the persons involved in the theft.
"So other than preventing livestock, we must recover the stolen livestock and we also have to produce the suspects behind the crime.”