By Francis Mureithi
Most of Kenya’s police officers are incapable of tracking cattle rustlers, the chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Security and Administration, Mr Asman Kamama, has said.
“The ‘digital police’ officers graduating from Kiganjo cannot track cattle stolen by rustlers because they are ill-equipped and poorly trained; it is why six rustlers are capable of terrorising an area that has 600 police officers,” said Mr Kamama.
The Tiaty MP said that in order to win the war against rustlers, the national government must allow county governments in areas hard hit by the menace to employ police reservists.
“Governors in the counties of Turkana, Pokot, Baringo, Samburu, Isiolo and Marsabit should be allowed to employ at least 100 police reservists each to deal with the rustlers,” Mr Kamama told the Sunday Nation in Nakuru.
“Tracking rustlers is an art that needs to be learnt, and only those people who are born and brought up in certain terrains are capable of doing that,” he said, adding that the reservist units would be disbanded after ending the menace.
Mr Kamama claimed that the government was losing the war on cattle rustling because it had failed to adopt “home-grown solutions” offered by the residents.
The MP also called on the national government to beef up security in northern Kenya by deploying two helicopters to be stationed at Baragoi in Samburu county and another one in Pokot.
Further, Mr Kamama appealed to leaders to stress the importance of education among their people to create an alternative means of earning a livelihood.
He called on the government to construct low cost boarding primary schools in the six counties hardest hit by cattle rustling in a bid to attract more youth to go to school.
“The government should increase its education budget and target counties ravaged by cattle rustling in order to woo more young people to the classroom,” said Mr Kamama.