Elgeyo Marakwet Governor Wisley Rotich has threatened to start providing firearms to his people should the multi-agency team currently in the region fail to contain the situation.
Rotich says despite the heavy presence of the security team in the volatile Kerio Valley for the last over two weeks, the security situation has been worsening by the day.
In posts on his verified social media pages on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, the youthful county boss lamented that at least five people have been killed by bandits in the last four days.
The latest incident, the governor said, was the murder of two people, including a medical laboratory.
Rotich has now given the government up to next week to fix the security situation.
“We shall start Arming our people from Monday if the KDF and the police will not act by then. It is Enough!” the Elgeyo Marakwet Governor said in part of his Facebook page post.
“We just lost two people today including our medical Laboratory staff to Pokot bandits pushing the numbers in the mortuary to 5 people in 4 days,” he added.
Increased bandit attacks
President William Ruto last month ordered a multi-agency security operation in the North Rift region in a bid to restore security and rid of bandits that have terrorized locals for years.
Despite the operation getting support from the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), there have been multiple incidences of bandits attacking locals – some of which was staged a few kilometres away from the security camps.
But even as the operation that also seeks to recover firearms illegally in the hands of citizens continues, some leaders have accused the security team of targeting the common mwananchi.
Turkana Governor Jeremiah Lomorukai on Monday accused KDF of using bombs on civilians during the operation.
“It is inhuman for the military to use bombs against innocent civilians. We have reports that some residents, among them children, and livestock were wounded during the incident. I condemn this in the strongest terms possible,” Lomorukai said as quoted by The Standard.