The National Police Service issued a statement on a shootout in Laikipia county on Wednesday, November 1, after the National Super Alliance leaders accused the police of criminal activity by killing more than 300 livestock.
In the statement, Inspector General of Police, Joseph Boinnet, denied accusations of wanton killing of livestock in the region.
“The truth is, we’ve had invasion and occupation of privately owned property in Laikipia by hundreds of illegal and often heavily armed herders from neighboring counties encouraged by known politicians,
“In execution of our mandate to maintain law and order, the police and other security agencies launched a security operation to drive out illegal herders from the county. In the last few week, some herders returned and forced their way into some private ranches,
“Attempts to drive them out resulted in a shoot out with police as the herders sought refuge among the livestock. Many of the livestock were killed and it is this incident that is being referred to as wanton killing of livestock Nothing could be further from the truth. The livestock were simply caught in the crossfire because they chose to use the cows as their shield,” said Boinnet on Saturday, November 4.
Boinnet clarified that the service saw no pleasure in seeing the animals killed. He also added that the herders killed 8 police officers in past incidents and injured 14 people including three civilians.
“This is a responsibility the law requires us to do and no amount of vilification from any quarter will stop us from enforcing the law as it is and as required. The operations in Laikipia will continue,” concluded Boinnet.
The killings elicited outrage as several Kenyans took to social media to give a piece of their mind on the matter.
In a presser held on Saturday, November 4, Raila accused the police of the crime, saying it threatened the livelihood of pastoralists. He also termed the killings as contempt and utter disregard for the Maasai community.
“For this kind of callousness to be conducted by the police paid and sustained by is a manifestation of a deep rooted problem that must be addressed once and for all. The government must compensate these people immediately no much time is needed for the government to pay them it must be now, “said Raila.