What you need to know:
- Tuesday’s victims were a lab technician and a nurse who were killed after bandits launched two simultaneous attacks in Marakwet East and Marakwet West sub-counties
- The two were killed just a day after North Rift MPs proposed that the military takes full charge of the security operation to smoke out bandits
- Marakwet West Police Commander Bosita Omulongolo said security officers and police reservists engaged the bandits who had crossed to Baringo County
Two medical workers are the latest casualties of the bandits in the Kerio Valley, bringing to seven the number of people killed in Elgeyo Marakwet county alone in four days.
Tuesday’s victims of the sustained bandit attacks were a lab technician and a nurse who was killed after bandits launched two simultaneous attacks in Marakwet East and Marakwet West sub-counties.
The two were killed just a day after North Rift MPs proposed that the military takes full charge of the security operation to smoke out bandits in the troubled and dangerous areas in the region, saying the current arrangement was not bearing fruit.
The workers at Endo Mission and Kapchemuta health centres respectively, paid the ultimate price after bandits from the neighbouring county launched twin attacks Tuesday afternoon.
The nurse was accosted at Kowow village in Marakwet East as she was reporting for duty, while the lab technician was killed at Kapkata in Arror, Marakwet West, as he was tending to his livestock. The assailants also made away with his animals.
Marakwet West Police Commander Bosita Omulongolo said security officers and police reservists were still fighting the bandits who had crossed to Baringo County by the time of going to press.
Following the killings, area leaders led by Governor Wisley Rotich have mounted fresh pressure on the government to upscale its response, with the bandits appearing to be launching attacks despite an ongoing security operation in the North Rift.
The governor, on his social media accounts, even threatened that leaders would now be forced to start ‘arming their people’ starting Monday if the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and police will not have acted by then. “It is Enough!” exclaimed the governor.
He said: “We just lost two more people, including our medical laboratory staff to bandits, pushing the numbers in the mortuary to seven people in four days.”
Keiyo South MP Gideon Kimaiyo called on Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki and Inspector General of Police Japhet Koome to immediately resign.
“We have lost two more lives today and we say we are in government. When is enough enough?” he asked.
“CS for Interior and the IG police should resign immediately,” he charged.
Two Turkana County Government employees escaped death by a whisker on Sunday after bandits ambushed their vehicle, spraying it with bullets at the dreaded KWS-Kaakong’ stretch on the Kitale-Lodwar road.
In Baringo, bandits carried out a daytime retaliatory attack in the volatile Seretion village in Mochongoi ward, Baringo South, on Sunday, injuring a police reservist and making off with more than 200 head of livestock.
And in Samburu’s Saturday twin attacks where four people, including two children, were killed, it has been established the attacks were launched simultaneously. Three bandits reportedly attacked Marti village killing two children before driving away livestock.
At the same time, witnesses said two bandits attacked Lolmolok area and killed two herders before driving away goats from the grazing field.
The MPs have tasked the Interior and Defence ministries to now seek parliamentary approval to allow the KDF to take full charge of the ongoing security operation led by police in the banditry-prone region, saying attacks continue despite the security presence.
According to the MPs, the heavy security presence has served no purpose, because the soldiers are being commanded by police, who have proved no match for the bandits.
“We want military deployment under Article 241(3) of the Constitution. We cannot deploy KDF to the region only to be told they are under police. This is a very unfortunate statement from the government since the bandits are reigning supreme in the region,” said Marakwet West MP Timothy Toroitich.
The legislators spoke in Keiyo South, Elgeyo Marakwet on Sunday.