By: SAMMY LUTTA
Turkana and West Pokot county governments have finally sealed a deal to curb cattle rustling.
The deal seeks to ensure stolen animals are recovered and bandits tracked and arrested to stop banditry.
During a meeting of county ministers, chief officers, sub-county administrators, ward administrators and local administrators from the two counties at Loyapat Village in Turkana County on Saturday, the officials blamed banditry for the slow execution of development projects in the regions.
The meeting was informed by a fresh raid in which a herder was killed and about 600 animals stolen at Kotaruk Village in Turkana last week.
Three Pokot villagers were killed in a retaliatory attack following the raid.
Turkana County Police Co-ordinator John Mwinzi said all stolen animals were recovered.
He said security patrols had been stepped up to restore peace in the area.
During the Saturday meeting, the officials came up with a communication network that will be relied on to raise alarm immediately there is a raid.
Turkana County Public Service, decentralised administration and disaster management executive Charles Lokioto said they now have a reliable and constructive coordination framework to locate escape routes and bandits’ destination.
Pokot and Turkana communities have for decades embraced the retrogressive culture of cattle rustling, which has led to the loss of many lives, poverty and displacement of people.
Mr Lokioto said they also agreed to make use of established county administration structures to arrest bandits and recover stolen animals.
“We will prioritise on developing border villagers by building schools, roads, health centres and markets along the borders to benefit villagers who have suffered a lot,” he said.
West Pokot Education, ICT and Public Administration executive Gladys Kiyapyap urged women from the two communities not to prepare food for men who are planning raids.