Police: Only 75 Animals Were Killed In Operation

 

 

Only 75 animals were shot dead by police in Ol Moran, Laikipia County, during a shootout with herders, according to the Government.

Laikipia County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha said politicians had exaggerated the figure, placing it at 300.

He accused politicians of paying herders to drive their animals into private ranches.

“Some of these animals that are grazed in private farms belong to the politicians who are holding press conferences, claiming that the Government has killed animals,” said Mr Kyatha, who is also the chairman of the security committee in Laikipia.

He promised to release a list of Government officers and Judiciary officials who own cattle that are illegally grazed in private farms.

“Soon we shall name and shame them. They are all over in press conferences in Nairobi claiming the Government is killing their livestock while in essence they are the ones funding these people,” he said.

The officer lamented that when police officers are killed by armed herders, no politician seeks justice for them like they do when herders are on the receiving end.

Difficult moments

“We have gone through difficult moments when police on duty are shot dead by illegal herders. Just the other day we lost eight police officers, 14 civilians and property worth million of shillings was destroyed in attacks where women and young girls were also raped,” he added.

At the same time, the administrator maintained that the security officers would take necessary action against any illegally armed herders.

Citing an incident where a man was on Sunday arrested for stealing 42 sheep, the county commissioner said some of pastoralists were cattle rustlers. He said after interrogating a suspect, police recovered an AK47 assault rifle and 47 bullets.

According to Kyatha, this year alone, at least 1,000 immigrant herders have been arrested and arraigned in court, but the courts have been lenient while giving them bond terms.

At the same time local political leaders have urged the National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga to keep off Laikipia affairs.

Last week, the Opposition leader said the pastoralists who lost animals that were shot dead by police should be compensated.

Laikipia Deputy Governor John Mwaniki said Raila and former Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel should stop politicising the issue. He added that the county government would investigate the matter. “We won’t allow them (NASA) to destabilise Laikipia because of this incident.

We won’t agree to make Laikipia a political battle field,” he said.

However, Mr Mwaniki maintained illegal herders who had invaded private ranches would not be spared.

In a statement, Raila had proposed that pastoralists be granted controlled access into private ranches during times of drought.

Narok Senator Ladema ole Kina and Wajir East MP Rashid Amin condemned shooting and accused the Government of using security forces to displace pastoralists communities from their ancestral land.

Mr Kina said they would mobilise the community to hold a demonstration in Nairobi on Sunday to force the Government to compensate herders who lost their livestock.

“This land is owned in group ranches. Why were the police shooting cattle instead of arresting suspects they believed had illegally invaded private properties? ” he asked.

Mr Amin called for the prosecution of those involved in the shooting saying a similar shooting of camels had happened in Mwingi.

Separately, Laikipia Senator John Kinyua and Laikipia West MP Wachira Karani accused herders of atrocities that left at least 50 people killed and 80 others injured.

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