The Star (Nairobi)

27 October 2011

Kenya: Government Pledges to End Cattle Rustling

A joint operation has been launched along the boundary of Nyanza and Rift Valley following an upsurge of cattle rustling. DCs, security chiefs and border peace committee members from Trans Mara West, Kenyenya, Nyamache and Gucha have started a series of meeting aimed at stemming cattle rustling cases ahead of the festive season. They agreed to jointly crack down on cattle rustling saying it was affecting the peaceful co-existence of the members of the Maasai and Kisii communities.

Speaking during the meeting that was co-chaired by Trans Mara West DC Mathioya Mbogo and his Kenyenya counterpart Kaburu Kaimba locals complained of increasing cases of cattle rustling. Speakers during the meeting claimed that known rustlers have been left to go scot free and opposed the release of arrested suspects on bond. "Sometimes we arrest suspected rustlers but they are not charged in court by police," said Joseph Marube a member of the border peace committee.

Julius ole Maki the chairman of the Trans Mara peace committee said suspected rustlers should be given heavy sentences by courts. "The war on rustling cannot be won if stiff sentences are not given out to rustlers. They should also be denied bond because when they are released, they continue perpetrating the vice," added Maki.

However, Mbogo and Kaimba said any suspect is entitled to be given bond by courts. The two DCs asked locals not to kill any suspects. On the Borabu and Sotik boundary, North Mugirango MP Wilfred Ombui alleged that tension was high following last week's shooting of a man by cattle rustlers. Ombui the assistant minister for National Heritage said the man had his eye gorged out after being shot with an arrow in the eye. The arrow was removed at Elgon View Hospital where the hospital bill is Sh300, 000.

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