Mutito DC James Kamau has urged the about 2,000 residents of Mwitika division to return to their homes as calm has returned to the area following a security operation.
Kamau said security officers have pushed out armed pastoralists, who had invaded the area from Tana River county in June. Some people were killed by the pastoralists in a clash over water and pasture.
The DC was speaking when he led a team of the leaders among them retired Anglican bishop Benjamin Nzimbi in visiting the displaced residents at their makeshift camps at Endau and Malalani markets. He said the aggressors had been flushed out of Mutitu in Kitui county. Kamau directed the assistant chiefs to ensure that all the residents who fled the area for fear of being attacked by the pastoralists have returned to their homes. He told the administrators to file a daily progress report on the matter with his office.
Residents of Twambui and Malalani, Makuka and Enziu in Mwitika fled their homes after three people were killed in the clash over water and pasture between the locals and the encroaching armed pastoralists. But during the visit the DC assured the residents of 24-hour security surveillance. The insecurity has disrupted learning at Koi, Twambui, Ililuni and Makuka primary schools since June.
During a public meeting at Malalani Primary School whose enrolment had been badly affected by the displacement, local leaders expressed concern over their security. They said it is the government's to responsibility to protect them and their property. One of the residents, Aaron Munyu, asked the government to disarm armed Somali pastoralists. His sentiments were echoed by another resident Joyce Kalekye, who lamented that the displacement of person from their homes as the government watched helplessly was worrying.
Former area MP Ezekiel Mwikya Mweu accused the security officers of failing to act on reports on impending attacks. The Mutomo OCPD Thomas Ngeiwya said police officers have been burning down structures erected illegally and owned by the armed pastoralists to force them out. He urged the area leaders to cooperate with the police to address the insecurity in the area.