The Departmental Committee on Administration and Internal Security has assured lawmakers drawn from Samburu and Turkana Counties of strong action towards restoration of security in their counties.
Speaking when the Committee hosted the legislators from the two counties, the Committee Members led by the Chairperson Gabriel Tongoyo (Narok West) assured the legislators that the Committee will go to any length to derive the required solutions to decades-long security challenges in the region, once and for all.
He stopped short of telling the delegation comprising of John Ariko (Turkana South), Naisula Lesuuda (Samburu West) , Joseph Emathe (Turkana Central) and Ekwom Nabuin (Turkana North) that the Committee was prepared to go to the length of censuring political leaders who are fueling banditry and insecurity in the region and have them brought to book.
“I want to assure you Members that we shall do whatever it takes to bring peace to the North-Rift. In all the five counties that we have gone for a fact-finding mission to, some names of political leaders including some we are serving with keep on popping up. We will not spare anyone when we make our recommendations to the House”, he held.
Even as the Chairperson made the assurance, he revealed that he has received threats to his life following the Committee’s resolve to find a lasting solution to the insecurity challenge that had bedevilled the region for decades. He however undertook not to relent on the Committee’s resolve to address the matter.
The Committee has already toured Baringo, Samburu, Turkana and Laikipia Counties and is set to visit West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet Counties next weekend before retreating to write its report on the security situation in the region for consideration by the House.
Making their submissions to the Committee, the Members noted that the security situation in the north had been exacerbated over the years by the belief that banditry is a battle for conquest but which has now slowly transitioned to an expansionist agenda. They faulted the Pokot Community residing in Baringo County for being behind their woes, which has led to many of their residents losing their lives and livelihoods.
“ Hon. Chair, it is unfortunate that past governments and past Parliamentary Security Committees have not viewed this matter as a matter of immense concern. Our people have been deprived of their right to life, right to education and right to security and safety. I pray that this Committee looks at these issues seriously and makes strong recommendations that will address our insecurity permanently”, Lesuuda pleaded.
Addressing the root cause of the insecurity in the area, the Members called on the Government to undertake a boundary sensitization and affirmation exercise so as to help in eliminating the perennial conflict. Noting that there are capacity gaps among police officers deployed to the region characterized by harsh terrrain, the MPs further called on the Government to enhance the deployment of Police reservists to help supplement security operations in the area.
Focusing on the international threat to the security situation in the North, Emathe pointed out to the Committee that the Government of Kenya needs to permanently address the enduring border dispute between Kenya and South Sudan, and that of Kenya and Ethiopia at the Illemi Triangle.
Both the lawmaker and Committee Member, Protus Akuja (Loima) noted that the dispute coupled by the absence of Kenya Defence Forces officers along the two borders in Turkana County had not only allowed the border points to be conduits of human and drug trafficking but had also given a field day to defence forces from the neighbouring countries to harass local residents and perpetuate cattle theft in the county.
The Committee is now expected to engage political leaders from Tiaty in Baringo County as well as the Cabinet Secretary for Interior before compiling their report for the House consideration.