CATTLE RUSTLING

Three men fatally shot in Laikipia bandit attack

Gunmen fired indiscriminately at the four who were fishing at Mbogoini dam

In Summary
  • Police said three gunmen attacked the home of Michael Kananu and made away with 32 head of cattle and two sheep on Sunday at 4pm.
  • The bandits were revenging an earlier aborted mission.
Part of the recovered animals in Laikipia on October 9.
CATTLE RUSTLING: Part of the recovered animals in Laikipia on October 9.
Image: NPS

Gunmen fatally shot at three people and injured one in an attempted cattle rustling near Laikipia Nature Conservancy, in Laikipia West.

The bandits had earlier driven hundreds of animals from different homesteads, but a multi- agency security team managed to recover the animals.

Only for the bandits to return to the village in a bid to revenge their failed mission.

Police said three gunmen attacked the home of Michael Kananu and made away with 32 head of cattle and two sheep on Sunday at 4pm.

While driving the stolen cattle towards Laikipia Nature Conservancy, the gunmen shot indiscriminately at the four who were fishing at Mbogo-ini dam.

The deceased were owners of the animals while the third was shot near the dam as they fled.

Multi-agency security team responded promptly and an exchange of fire ensued. All stolen livestock were recovered.

“We understand that bandits flushed out of the operation zones have sought refuge in settlement areas and continue to engage in criminal acts by meting pain and anguish to families.

“While we regret loss of lives occasioned by the blood-thirsty criminals, we ask residents to report strangers in their neighbourhoods who are likely to have escaped from the operation zones,” police spokesman Bruno Shioso said.

He said teams on the ground are reviewing their approach to areas initially perceived as low risk, to ensure that lives and properties are equally protected as high risk areas.

The military is among the multi-agency teams on the ground.

This followed a three-day visit by security chiefs in September, led by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i, Chief of Defence Forces Robert Kibochi, Mutyambai and his APS deputy Noor Gabow.

The president had ordered the operation to be carried out within a week.

The operation started with the declaration of a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Laikipia Nature Conservancy after the country’s top security organ- NSC meeting at State House.

Matiang’i said Laikipia Nature Conservancy and its environs had been immediately declared a disturbed area and therefore a security operation zone.

Matiang'i gazetted the creation of a new administrative subcounty in the Ol Moran area and named it Kirima to tackle insecurity in the area.

Kirima is expected to bring government and security agencies closer to the backwaters of Sipili and Ng'arua.

The CS said a training base for elite police units will be established in the area to enhance police presence and serve as a buffer zone between Laikipia residents and invaders from neighbouring counties.

There will be a deployment of surveyors to Laikipia to expedite the titling process and review/recommend action on lapsed leases or those about to lapse.

“We will engage relevant ministries and agencies on the ideal management of the Laikipia Conservancy to mitigate its attraction as a conflict hotspot,” he said.

The security chiefs landed in the area as multi-agency teams intensified operations to flush out gunmen on private ranches.

The gunmen are blamed for at least ten deaths including three police officers and displacement of thousands who are now in churches and schools.

The attackers have been torching houses and other amenities prompting heavy deployment.

Mutyambai announced the security designated area remains a no go zone for political meetings without police clearance.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)