By Martin Masinde
Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tanui Tolgos has called upon the State to move expeditiously and mop up all illegal firearms in the hands of bandits. The Governor lamented the high number of casualties resulting from banditry and Cattle rustling.
The Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Alex Tolgos has also regretted the deteriorating security situation in Kerio Valley and asked the government to deal decisively with the menace.
H.E Tolgos said his legacy was to exit office, upon the expiry of his two terms as per constitution, and leave a peaceful and a prosperous Kerio Valley.
“I am calling on the government to restore peace in the region. At least in my remaining eight months in office I can take pride of the elusive peace. My administration had initiated mega development plans for the region but has since stalled because of insecurity,” he said.
H.E Tolgos said as among leaders in Kerio Valley he supports any measures by the government to restore order and was ready for any peace meetings convened.
“We need decisive action that would end insecurity because we need development to thrive. I join calls for the reinstatement of police reservists but their welfare should be well catered for. A fraction of what is given to other security officers should be allocated for the police reservists,” said H.E Tolgos.
“Most of these bandits are still loitering holding guns and there’s no way we can have security without first disarming them. Even if it has to be forceful, let it be. The Chiefs on the other end are just holding a baton and you expect them to face armed bandits. This is not possible.”
Tolgos also pointed out that the Government presence in the area has been wanting since the number of security officers deployed is low.
The Government should give a shoot to kill directive for all the armed bandits because they are dangerous and merciless. They are now hacking to death innocent people including women and children in a scale which has not been witnessed before.
Tolgos also laughed off the dusk to dawn curfew that the government imposed saying it will do little to quell the skirmishes. He opines that the issue requires a better approach because the criminals carry out the banditry attacks as early as 10am in the morning.
I strongly believe that there must be some rogue security officers who are sympathisers with the criminals because they benefit from the proceeds of the crime. They collude with the cartels which work to feed the stolen cattle’s black market.
Mr Tolgos lauded the area leaders saying they have done their part to bring peace and end the gunfire in the Volatile Kerio Valley.