Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof Kindiki Kithure on Thursday, November 24, announced that chiefs and assistant chiefs in the North Eastern region will be equipped with firearms.
Kindiki, while addressing Wajir residents at Arbajahan Primary School noted that the move would help to beef up security amid the recent concerns raised in the region.
According to the CS, the move will help to reinforce police officers in their mandate of ensuring peace in areas bedevilled by rampant insecurity.
Kindiki noted that chiefs and assistant chiefs will undergo vetting before being cleared to be issued with firearms.
"Chiefs and assistant chiefs will be vetted to determine their ability to handle firearms. We must vet them because some of them are a bit old they might not be able to use firearms hence we must have a system," he stated.
“You cannot expect an officer to pursue criminals and recover stolen livestock using a baton. I have directed the security teams in the counties affected by cattle rustling to vet our chiefs and assistant chiefs so that we can arm them to protect the lives and property of wananchi,” Kindiki added.
Further, the CS announced plans to increase the number of chiefs and police officers deployed in the North Eastern region in response to the security threats.
He instructed Wajir County Commissioner and the County Police Commander to collaborate with area leaders in recruiting and training police reservists from the local population.
However, Kindiki reiterated that the locals have a major role to play in the maintenance of peace and order in their neighbourhood.
In addition, the Interior CS urged village elders from the region to form inter-county groups aimed at maintaining peaceful co-existence in the region.
“I strongly believe we can end the retrogressive practice of cattle rustling and clashes here if the elders are fully involved. You will constitute a 20-member team of elders from the two counties to steer peace talks and peaceful coexistence.”
"It is not possible to achieve lasting peace without the input of the elders and the communities," Kindiki told the residents.
The CS was accompanied by the region's elected leaders, Deputy Inspector General of police Noor Gabow and administrative officers.
The announcement came days after the Interior CS stated that chiefs would henceforth have police officers attached to them as a way of curbing the growing security threats in their counties.
Barely a month since his swearing-in, the CS was under pressure after various concerns were raised regarding cases of cattle rustling, mugging and bandit attacks.
In response, Kindiki announced a raft of measures in synergy with various departments in the Ministry of Interior.
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