By Dennis Onyango
KISUMU, KENYA: The Parliamentary Committee on security is set to launch investigations on the meat business at the Kericho- Kisumu border which is claimed to be fuelling violence in the region.
The body will also probe politicians adversely mentioned as instigating clashes at the volatile region.
Speaking during a public forum in Nyakach, Kisumu County, members of the committee said they had learnt through private investigations that meat business in Kisumu town was thriving through cattle rustling.
Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi told the residents that they are to blame for the clashes that recently led to the death of at least six people and left over 900 displaced.
More than five houses were also torched in the clashes.
"Have you asked yourself who the beneficiaries of cattle rustling are? Don't you know it is the meat sold to you here in Kisumu?" he posed.
His Sirisia Constituency counterpart John Waluke accused the youth of being used to ferry cattle to the butcheries.
"The culprits are among you. They assist those in the business to make money at the expense of peace," he said.
The committee resolved that for there to be lasting peace at the volatile border, police officers from the Luo and Kalenjin communities serving at the border be transferred.
"This will bring impartiality in the manner the security situation is dealt with in this area," said Lagdera MP Mohammed Shidiye.
Nyakach sub county administrator Chaunga Wa Chaunga took the MPS through the history of cattle rustling in the area.
"It began around 1904 as a tradition. However, it has now turned into an economic activity due to poverty in the area and politicians are also taking advantage of the situation," he said.
Paul Onyango who represented elders from Nyakach urged the committee to ask the government not to remove the anti-stock theft police currently patrolling the area to curb the vice.
The committee claimed the cartel in the meat trade comprise prominent businessmen and area politicians who use the youth to effect the raid and ferry the stolen cattle to the butcheries.
Among other members of the committee who attended the forum included Suna West MP Joseph Ondiegi, Kimani Njuguna (Gatanga) and Aduma Owuor (Nyakach).
Mr Aduma said more than 20 people have lost their life in the last two years due to the problem of cattle rustling.
"There are bad elements within the police force which must be disciplined for there to be peace," he said.
Narrating how they tamed cattle rustling between residents of Suna and Kuria in Migori County, Mr Ondiegi asked the security apparatus to be more vigilant.
"We are putting you on notice, if you fail to deliver, you will go home," he warned.
The committee also resolved that there be regular joint patrols between Kericho and Kisumu Counties and massive civic education to restore peace.