Tension is high in Tot Marakwet East following a deadly banditry attack that left four herders dead and several others injured.
In the Saturday mid-afternoon attack at Kapkobil grazing field, over 60 heavily armed bandits suspected to be from the neighbouring county stole hundreds of livestock.
Elgeyo Marakwet County police commander Patrick Lumumba said the bandits ambushed the herdsmen and sprayed them with bullets.
“Police officers are still pursuing the bandits who have since crossed River Kerio to Baringo County. We have contacted our counterparts there to aid in the pursuit,” said the police commander.
Mr. Lumumba urged locals to volunteer information that will aid police in preventing such attacks.
“Reports are emerging that the bandits were spotted along Kerio Valley a day before they attacked but the locals did not inform the law enforcers, we need collaboration to end the banditry menace in Kerio Valley,” he said.
He also dispelled rumours that police officers failed to swiftly respond to the attack saying the incident happened along the pasture-rich Kerio River banks.
Area MP Kangogo Bowen accused the government of applying double standards when dealing with the escalating banditry attacks in Kerio Valley.
“We have been appealing to the government to reinstate police reservists as they did in Laikipia to no avail. The police have been slow to respond to the attacks, reservists would have responded promptly,” said the legislator.
He said the bandits have now fled Laikipia and are regrouping along the Kerio Valley before launching deadly attacks.
“Every day there is an attack. If there is no loss of lives, our animals are stolen. We are calling on the government to discharge its constitutional mandate and protect lives and property,” he said.
The attack occurred barely three days after another group of over 40 heavily armed bandits launched a brazen Tuesday attack at Kaptora in the same area and stole 43 animals.
“Due to the ongoing security operation in Laikipia we have seen an increased bandit attack in Kerio Valley. The government should give us back the police reservists because we believe they are able to support in restoring order,” said Marakwet West MP William Kisang.