Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya has called on the government to increase its efforts to combat banditry in the North Rift. During an interview with NTV, the former Rift Valley Regional Commissioner emphasized that the robbers in the area are not like al-Shabaab terrorists, as they are more confrontational and willing to attack security personnel. The governor cited instances where the robbers had targeted multi-agency security agents and warned that their ferocity was a cause for concern. He called for a robust disarming operation to be conducted in the affected areas and for the government to increase security forces in bandit-prone regions.
Natembeya also lamented the government’s inactivity on banditry, stating that it had led to impunity. He observed that the robbers had become bolder and more audacious in their attacks, even after being warned. The governor also accused the authorities of ignoring the issue and called on them to take swift action to address the situation.
In response to the governor’s remarks, Interior CS Kithure Kindiki issued a directive on Monday for anyone in possession of illicit guns or ammunition to surrender them immediately and unconditionally within three days. The CS warned that failure to comply with the order would result in full legal consequences. Kindiki also declared the current security situation in the Northern Rift Valley area a national emergency and called for decisive action to be taken soon.
The government’s response comes amid concerns about the escalating insecurity in the North Rift, with reports of banditry and attacks on security personnel becoming more frequent. The situation has prompted calls for increased security measures and more robust action to be taken against the bandits.
Overall, the government’s move to address the insecurity in the North Rift has been welcomed by many, with hopes that it will lead to a more peaceful and secure region. However, some have expressed concerns that the measures may not be enough to address the root causes of the problem and that more needs to be done to address the underlying issues driving the banditry.