Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto has urged security personnel to use force against the criminals wreaking havoc in ranches and conservancies in Laikipia.
The high-level security meeting with local administrators including Senator Godfrey Gitahi Kariuki, Laikipia West Member of Parliament (MP) Wachira Karani, County Assembly speaker Patrick Mariru and Director of Police Operations at Vigilance House Benson Kibue was held on Tuesday following an impromptu visit to Rumuruti in Laikipia West, the day after armed herders murdered British expat Tristan Voorspuy, co-owner of Sosian Ranch in Laikipia North.
Mr Ruto said: “The government will not allow continued perpetuation of impunity in Laikipia county as everybody is subject to the laws of this country.
“I urge the security personnel to use force on adamant criminals destroying property. Please do not give room to criminals, they will kill you…ukibembeleza criminals utakuwa marehemu (if you are soft on criminals, you will be killed)”.
Instructing security agencies to use every means to restore law and order to the county, DP Ruto said: “Do everything possible to restore sanity in Laikipia which is one of the preferred tourism destinations in the country. Drought should not be an excuse to criminal activities.”
He revealed the government will deploy General Service Unit officers in Laikipia this week in addition to the 1,380 security personnel already in the county.
“We also intend to add two more armoured police vehicles to aid in security operations in the County,” Mr Ruto said.
He also directed Samburu County Commissioner Mohamed Birik and his Laikipia Counterpart Onesmus Kyathia to intercept teenagers found herding animals and enrolled them in school.
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In the week which saw 379 herders and Kenyan MP Mathew Lempurkel arrested over the murder, he also warned politicians against incitement, which has been blamed for the invasions in the county.
“Politicians inciting people will face the full force of the law. We can not allow politicians to divide parts of this country and cause chaos,” he said.
Only two local leaders were present in the high level security meeting.