Government starts registering illegal firearms

Deputy President William Ruto and Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery check one of the guns that were surrendered during a disarmament exercise at Katilia in Turkana county. PHOTO | DPPS

What you need to know:

  • Leaders including Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaisery, MPs, Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs) and members of the Provincial Administration from Turkana, West Pokot, Baringo and Samburu Counties attended the launch.
  • Addressing wananchi at Katilia grounds in Turkana South Constituency after the launch, Mr Ruto urged residents who were yet to surrender their guns for registration to do so before the voluntary period ends.

The government’s programme to register illegally acquired firearms across the country kicked off on Wednesday at Katilia Division in Turkana County.

The programme, which was launched by Deputy President William Ruto will regulate and monitor all registered firearms held by individuals.

Leaders including Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery, MPs, Members of the County Assemblies (MCAs) and members of the Provincial Administration from Turkana, West Pokot, Baringo and Samburu Counties attended the launch.

Others were Chairman of Parliamentary Committee on Security who is also Tiaty MP Asman Kamama, James Lomenen (Turkana South), William Cheptumo (Baringo North), Grace Kiptui (Women MP Baringo), Grace Kipchoim (Baringo South), Alloice Lentomoiga (Samburu West), Nicholas Ngoleng (Turkana East), Protus Akucha (Loima) and Governors Benjamin Cheboi (Baringo) and Josephat Nanok (Turkana.

During the occasion, 55 firearms were registered.

Those who surrender the guns for registration will remain with them and will be paid a maintenance fee by the Government besides being closely monitored so as not to engage in acts of violence.

They will also be given priority in recruitment of Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) who will now receive allowances after Parliament made changes to Police Act.

Addressing wananchi at Katilia grounds in Turkana South Constituency after the launch, Mr Ruto urged residents who were yet to surrender their guns for registration to do so before the voluntary period ends.

“Those who are yet to surrender their firearms for registration should do so before the expiry period of voluntary surrender of such guns ends,” said Mr Ruto.

The Deputy President however warned of stern action against those who will not heed the Government’s directive to surrender all firearms in the wrong hands.

“Residents who will not have surrendered the firearms within the given period means that they are planning to do something evil and we will not allow such to happen,” said Mr Ruto.

The Deputy President said there was need for political willingness among leaders in the search for peace in the insecurity prone areas as peace caravan enters its final stretch.

He said stern action would be taken against leaders who engaged in cattle rustling activities besides inciting wanachi to participate in the raids for their selfish gains.

“I want to make it clear that the Government will not spare any leader whether elected, appointed or nominated and who engages or incites residents to take part in cattle rustling that they will not be spared,” he said.

He said the Government has sacked two chiefs believed to be behind acts of lawlessness in the region adding that they will soon appear in court to be charged.

“We cannot accept impunity within our governance system,” said Mr Ruto.

The Deputy President said long-term solution remains key to bringing the region into the nation's economic mainstream by improving roads, building schools and hospitals and even setting up irrigation schemes by the national and county governments.

Mr Ruto challenged communities in the Kerio Valley to embrace moral values that will foster peace and shun hostilities that have led to loss of lives and properties.

“It is time we embrace peace and discard outdated cultural practices which retard the development of this region,” he said.

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