• He said the government will protect officers who will use necessary force, including the use of firearms, to enforce the directive.
• The directive follows a flare-up of violent encounters between armed herders and local farmers which has since led to the death of at least two area residents.
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki has ordered police to use their firearms should camel herders who have invaded private farms in Mwingi, Kitui county, refuse to vacate.
The CS on Tuesday ordered the herders out of the area with immediate effect saying force will be applied if they fail to abide by the directive.
"No one has the permission to graze their livestock wherever they want without the consent of the owners of those fields. All the grazers and herds people must leave this place before we get to them,” Kindiki said.
He said the government will protect officers who will use necessary force, including the use of firearms, to enforce the directive.
This, he noted, is in line with the Section 61 of the National Police Service Act.
"We cannot wait for another death or crisis before we act. Neither will have a discussion with criminals. Use all the available means to protect the lives and property of peace-loving Kenyans. The government will defend you.”
The directive follows a flare-up of violent encounters between armed herders and local farmers which has since led to the death of at least two area residents.
The farmers have accused the pastoralists of deliberately driving camels and other livestock into farms leading to destruction of crops.
Kindiki said a crack operation has been launched to back up the directive until the last herder is driven out.
“I want to challenge the criminals who think they have better weapons, tactics or instruments of violence than the government to dare face us. We will follow them anywhere they are. We won’t leave this area until we end this menace.”
The CS spoke at Mandongoi Primary school in Mwingi North Constituency.
He further directed the immediate recruitment and training of 250 National Police Reservists (NPR) to beef up security in the area to complement the boots on the ground.
Kindiki gave the Kitui County security team to undertake the exercise within two weeks in consultation with the Inspector General of Police.
Meanwhile, the Interior CS warned area residents against taking the law into their hands in dealing with the camel herders.
He said those caught taking the law into their hands risk legal consequences as their action can fuel retaliatory attacks.