The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Anti-Crime Drive Launched in Kitui

A campaign aimed at reducing crime in Kitui and speed up development has been launched on Thursday.

The anti-crime drive, initiated by the Philemon Foundation in collaboration with line government departments including the police and prison department, started in style with a peaceful procession on the streets of Kitui town.

The procession led by the Kitui DO 1 Ngala Mwachiro, Philemon Foundation's coordinator for Lower Eastern, Antony Kithendu, and Kitui probation officer Winfred Koki started at the Kitui county headquarters and ended up a Kalundu market were a rally was held. Mwachiro said security is key for social and economic development. He urged residents to embrace community policing and expose criminals. He at the same time stressed the need to re-integrate former prisoners who have reformed back to the society. He said it was important for the larger society to help re-rehabilitate the reformed former jail birds.

The DO noted that both alcohol and drug abuse among the youth had a big bearing on increased crime. He urged them to shun the abhorrent habit and seek loans to establish income generating endeavors and earn honest living. Kithendu said that campaign is meant to kick out crime and to create a safer Kitui County to make the area realise faster social and economic development. He said crime was retrogressive and must be shunned at all cost.

Ms. Koki noted that fighting crime was no longer the preserve of the police and urged the residents to be wary of criminal elements in their midst. "Our area cannot develop unless we play an active role in fighting crime," said Koki. She added that a crime free society was poised to realize insurmountable development.

The Kitui Jua Kali Chairman Stephen Kimwele said since most youth engaged in crime for lack of sources of income, it was prudent for employment avenues to be availed by the government and other stakeholders in order to bring down crime. "We need to find ways to keep the youth busy by ensuring that they are engaged in income generating work. Idling and khat chewing drive the youth into crime," Kimwele pointed. He said the idlers must be guided on how to access loans and eke a living justly by doing business.

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