Revoke 'ineffective' Mt Elgon curfew, Bungoma leaders ask Matiang'i

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula with other leaders address the press at his Kanduyi home on Friday, March 9, 2018. /BRIAN OJAMAA
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula with other leaders address the press at his Kanduyi home on Friday, March 9, 2018. /BRIAN OJAMAA

Bungoma leaders have called upon Interior CS Fred Matiang'i to revoke the 90-day curfew in Mt Elgon saying it is ineffective.

Senator Moses Wetang'ula, woman representative Catherine Wambilianga, and six MCAs made the call on Friday.

Matiang'i last Tuesday ordered a 6am-to-6pm curfew in the area following rampant attacks targeting locals. Over 30 people have been killed since the attacks began.

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Wetang'ula, addressing the press at his Kanduyi home after a closed-door meeting with MCAs, said the curfew is not the solution to the wave of insecurity in the area.

The Senator said that there are already reported ugly and unaccepted events that are unfolding in the region following the curfew.

"To us, this restriction is a very clear indication that the state has failed terribly to bring security in Mt Elgon...if they are working you don’t need a curfew."

The senator said the meeting of elected Mt Elgon leaders resolved that the curfew won’t assist much in solving the crisis.

"We have received reliable information that close to 31,000 people have left their homes for fear of police brutality," he said.

He said the groups are now scattered in parts of Trans Nzoia mainly in Endebes, Kimilili, Kamukuywa, Webuye, and Chwele.

"Bungoma MCAs, through an ad hoc committee, released a report on the causes and solutions of Mt Elgon problems."

He asked the government to adopt the Senate's resolutions on how to deal with the issue.

The Ford Kenya party boss said most of the crimes in the region are caused by security officers who have overstayed.

"They are now working with criminals to terrorise residents. We are wondering why innocent people are killed, women are raped, animals are killed yet no arrests are made."

"We also have reports that some of the police officers have been working with suspected criminals who harass wananchi after they volunteer to give them a tip-off," he added.

The senator raised fears of officers who might take advantage of the curfew to loot, rape women, and harass innocent residents.

"Concentrate on the troubled Chepyuk settlement scheme....there is no need to put a curfew in some parts like Cheptais where there is no insecurity," he said.

"We demand that this curfew be revoked and security enhanced through incorporating local residents as MCAs recommended."

Wambilianga said: "Insecurity in Mt Elgon will affect the county's economy....women and children are the most affected by the curfew."

This came even as Ugandan police reportedly arrested one of the leaders of the gang that has been terrorising Mt Elgon residents.

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