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March 21, 2018

State to hire 3,200 police reservists to boost security

A section of Kerio Valley where banditry rules./FILE
A section of Kerio Valley where banditry rules./FILE

The government has started hiring 3,200 National Police Reservists especially in areas affected by banditry.

Rift Valley regional coordinator Wanyama Musiambo said the first batch of 200 reservists have already been hired, trained and deployed in parts of Kerio Valley.

Musiambo said the programme will be extended to other areas before the end of this month.

"We are hiring them through a clear process. We are not just giving uniforms to anyone. They are vetted, trained and given uniforms and they are answerable to officers in charge of police stations where they serve," he said.

At the same time Elgeyo Marakwet, Turkana, Pokot and Samburu have recorded an increase in the number of illegal guns.

Musiambo said those with the illegal weapons should have them registered before security teams move in to seize them and arrest the owners. 

He said the illegal guns are to blame for increased banditry in the region.

"The government can use any other means to get the guns forcefully if it wants. But we are just saying if you have such guns please have them registered so that we know how they are used," he said.

He said the government was committed to dealing with insecurity in Kerio Valley and chiefs along with other security officers must play their roles effectively.

He said they are working closely with IG Joseph Boinnet to deal with the banditry problem and illegal guns.

The IG has been visiting the region to assess the security situation.

Read: More cops deployed in Kerio Valley to pursue bandits

It is estimated that nomadic communities in the North Rift have more than 30,000 illegal guns.

At the same time more than 100 county projects have stalled in Kerio Valley due to insecurity. 

The projects are located mainly in Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo and West Pokot.

MCAs at the Elgeyo Marakwet County Assembly have expressed concern over the stalled projects where contractors have pulled out citing insecurity.

“Contractors and even county workers have pulled out of the region because they can not work under an insecure environment,”Kaptarakwa MCA Thomas Kigen who is also Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee at the assembly said.

He said the projects were aimed at helping to develop the marginalized region and fight poverty and illiteracy but they can not be implemented due to insecurity.

“If we cannot implement the projects then we will never be able to deal with banditry,”Kigen said.

Area Governor Alex Tolgos confirmed that banditry has affected many projects in the infrastructure, health, education and agriculture sectors.

The state has so far deployed more than 400 security officers to restore security in the region.

Also read: State to send more police reservists to Lamu in Operation Linda Boni

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