By Wanjohi Gakio
Laikipia county does not have enough police officers to drive away illegal herders, an official has said.
Residents have complained about the herders grazing livestock in their farms.
Laikipia deputy county commissioner in charge of Nyahururu district Kiplagat Tarus led a team on a fact-finding mission Kamwenje, Milima Tatu and Maua on Wednesday.
“We can indeed confirm that the claims are true in those areas but there are a few areas, among them Rubere village, where the local farmers have allowed them [herders\ for a fee,” he told the Star on the phone.
Tarus said the herders have become a nuisance and are fuelling cattle rustling.
He said the cattle rustling problem is a spillover from the Kapedo operation where criminals have been flushed out by the government.
“We have lost more than 100 sheep to rustlers in the last two days and there has been an outcry over the increase in crime,” Tarus said.
There are around 13 police posts built with CDF cash, but officers have never been deployed since 2007.
“We are hoping that the Senate Committee on Security, which toured this area last month, will include a recommendation in their report that additional police officers should be deployed to this area,” Tarus said.
He said the presence of police officers will deter criminals.
Tarus said AP officers patrol the area daily as a stop-gap measure to prevent illegal activities before a long-term strategy is put in place.
The county security team held a meeting yesterday at Kinamba county assistant commissioner’s officer to ind ways to deal with the herders.