By Joseph Kangogo
Residents of the Lomoiwe area in Mochongoi ward, Baringo South subcounty, have threatened to acquire arms to defend themselves over frequent attacks by suspected cattle rustlers.
They have issued a one-week ultimatum to the government to deal with rustlers or they will take the law into their own hands.
On Sunday, raiders attacked Kapkechir village and left several people injured and more than 20,000 homeless.
Learning for more than 6,000 pupils was paralysed, thousands of animals stolen and public property looted and vandalised.
One of the injured was a young man whose 200 head of cattle were stolen.
“Are we not Kenyans? Don’t we have rights in our country for anyone to chase us around like wild animals?” David Cheruiyot, a resident, said.
Cheruiyot accused the government of lacking a plan to restore peace and stability in the region.
They spoke when Baringo Governor Benjamin Cheboi, his deputy Mathew Tuitoek and other top county leaders visited the area on Sunday.
Cheboi said residents in volatile areas have been experiencing attacks, especially along the Tiaty border and have endured pain and suffering.
He said there is need to deploy more security personnel in these hotspots.
Cheboi asked the national government to consider devolving the security docket to enable the county government the effectively handle the issue.
He said the national government seems to have been overwhelmed by the situation.
“This idea of civilians slowly arming themselves in order to protect their lives and property is not good at all for peaceful co-existence,” said Cheboi.
“It clearly indicates that the government is not adequately handling security matters, particularly cattle rustling and banditry”.
Tuitoek said he was not satisfied with how the national government was responding to the issue.