Nairobi — President William Ruto has assured of his government’s commitment to end bandit attacks in parts of Rift Valley where hundreds of people have been killed in past years during cattle raids.
Just last week, two school-going children were killed and others injured in Kerio Valley where dozens of cattle were stolen.
“We have agreed as a government that this issue of bandits is a major problem, but we must sort it out. If this issue is not dealt with by this Kenya Kwanza government, then I do not know who will deal with it because this is a matter we understand,” Ruto told a joint TV media interview at State House on Wednesday night.
He admitted to the banditry challenge in North Rift and other major insecurity cases in Lamu County and other coastal regions, terming them “deep-rooted”.
“I know even after all the effort we have put to deal with this menace, there are still porous areas which these bandits use to attack our people, but we will surely catch up with them,” he said.
He further revealed that two bandit financiers have already been arrested and they will face the full force of the law.
“We are playing our role as a government to deal with these criminals. As matter of fact, we have arrested two of their financiers at the coast who had a lot of money meant to facilitate their criminal activities. I am however calling on all Kenyans to work together to help us fight this menace and I assure you we will get rid of the bandits and secure our people,” President Ruto said.
The issue of banditry is perennial in the North Rift Kerio valley and its environs leaving many people dead while others have been displaced.
On November 11, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki vowed a renewed fight against cattle rustlers and bandits that have continued to wreak havoc in parts of the North Rift region.
Kindiki likened cattle rustling to crimes against humanity hence the need for more decisive action.
“Banditry has assumed not just an economic dimension, but it continues to take new dimensions and increasingly it is appearing that what is happening in the Northern part of this country would very easily constitute crimes against humanity,” he said.
To address this, the Interior CS said that the government is deploying a multi-faceted and multi-agency response.
He further stated that the government will pursue financiers and beneficiaries of the cattle rustling menace which has led to deaths and mass displacement of hundreds of citizens.
“We are coming to dismantle not only the criminals themselves but also to bring down the entire chain that has been the cattle and livestock rustling industry,” he added.