In Summary

• Rift Valley regional commissioner Mohammed said all departments were coordinating to ensure the exams run smoothly, especially in banditry-prone area.

• Security was even tighter in Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Baringo and Turkana counties.

Former IG Joseph Boinnet addressing a peace meeting in Kerio Valley on March 1.
KEEP THE PEACE: Former IG Joseph Boinnet addressing a peace meeting in Kerio Valley on March 1.

Security has been tightened in North Rift counties especially within the Kerio Valley region as candidates begin their KCPE exams on Monday.

Rift Valley regional commissioner Maalim Mohammed said all departments were working in coordination to ensure the exams are completed smoothly ,especially in areas affected by banditry.

“Nothing has been left to chance and we pray that nothing will interfere with them," Maalim said.

Leaders including former IG Joseph Boinnet, who wants to be Elgeyo Marakwet governor, stepped up peace meetings urging residents to live in harmony

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago, who is also chairman of the North Rift Economic Bloc,said counties in the region were supporting the ministries of Education and Interior to ensure everything goes smoothly.

“We wish all our candidates well and counties we are offering the necessary support," Mandago said.

Security was tighter  in counties affected by banditry, including Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot, Baringo and Turkana.

More than 200 heavily armed police officers on Sunday were patrolling the Kerio Valley to secure schools ahead of the exams.

The government also deployed tens of vehicles and with senior provincial administration officers, including county commissioners.

Eight schools in far-flung areas have merged and turned into boarding facilities under tight security to ensure candidates do not travel far and risk danger.

Exam officials who will supervise the tests will also be moved under tight security and two helicopters are being used to move officials to remote areas.

Elgeyo Marakwet county commissioner John Korir said no banditry had been reported in recent days and security teams will remain alert before, during and after exams.

The region recently has been hit by a wave of banditry targeting school children, teachers and other residents.

The latest attack was in Baringo where eight people were shot dead by bandits on Saturday.

More than 50 schools are in banditry-prone areas of Elgeyo Marakwet, West Pokot and Baringo counties where the government has ordered the highest security.

High-ranking officials from the ministries of Education and Interior inspected preparedness for the exams and said all systems had been in place.

Knut officials led by John Cheberi had also visited some of the schools and welcomed the security measures.

Churches used Sunday services to pray for the candidates and urged the government to ensure security is restored in all areas.

“We pray that the exams will be carried out well and that the government will find a solution to the insecurity problem," NCCK chairman for the North Rift Rev Daniel Barno said.

(Edited by V. Graham)  

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