Residents of three banditry prone Ukambani sub-counties will create a buffer zone to stop attacks by bandits suspected to come from Tana River county.
About 1,000 residents of Mwingi Central, Kitui East, and Kitui South sub-counties converged in Twambui village, Kitui East, and agreed to revive Nziu Ranch Cooperative Society and flood the area with thousands of cattle.
Kitui East MP Nimrod Mbai and former assistant minister Ezekiel Mweu attended the meeting. Nziu ranching society was active in the 1970s and ’80s.
"We have agreed to revive that ranch to ensure ruthless bandits who encroach on our land under the guise of being herders are kept off," Mbai said.
"They will no longer be allowed to bring their animals into the ranch area. It will be a restricted area."
He said armed security officers would be deployed to protect the ranch from intruders.
"The security officers will enforce a law that was enacted in the 1960s that prohibits livestock from moving from one district to another without the express permission of the hosts," Mbai said.
Mweu said the lease he acquired for Nziu Ranching Cooperative Society when he was MP for Mutitu was still valid and would expire in 2035.
He said the residents were free to revive the ranching group. The residents recommended that the process of reviving the society should get underway, with Kitui governor Charity Ngilu as trustee and Mbai as patron.
Mbai said Kitui East’s CDF, alongside those of Mwingi Central and Kitui South, will allocate Sh30 million to improve security in the ranch area.
He said his counterparts Gideon Mulyungi and Rachael Nyamai had committed to fund the security initiative.
Mweu, who displayed a copy of the lease he acquired for the moribund cooperative society, was nominated the chairman of the committee mandated to revamp the ranch.
All area MCAs will also join the committee. The meeting further recommended that Ngilu and all area MPs visit the ranch area soon.