BY MUNYASYA MUSYA
Kitui Governor Kaluki Ngilu today challenged the police to quickly end incessant invasion by pastoralists into farms and homes of Mutha residents or else she would call upon locals to act in self-protection.
She said the constitution of Kenya granted citizens the right to protection of life and property urging the police to flush out the herders who have invaded Kitui County with their livestock destroying farm crops.
She further warned against police failure to arrest the situation and chuck out invading herders back to their counties, residents will be forced to take arms and protect their lives and property.
“Enough is enough” the governor said maintaining she was speaking for the people who elected her “We must fix this menace once and for all” she added.
“I speak without fear or favour and we shall deal firmly with this problem of insecurity and Somali invasions.” She added.
The Governor who was addressing wananchi in Mutha Trading Centre in Kitui South Sub County in the presence of area security chiefs questioned why Somali pastoralists continually invaded Kitui County yet herders from her county did not invade other counties with their livestock.
“They invade us and our farms killing and destroying property. Yet we do not take our cattle to their lands. Why do they then invade and attack us? Do they think we cannot defend ourselves?” she asked.
Reacting to public complaints that camel owners whose animals were impounded for grazing on private land refused to honour police summons, Ngilu said it was wrong for police to force the victims to look after the stray camels and pay for any loss or injury on the beasts.
The Governor said that invasion of the county by herders and charcoal harvesters were impoverishing the people of Kitui challenging residents to stand up and protect local resources from alien exploitation.
Flagged by Kitui County Assembly Majority Leader Peter Kilonzo, area MCA Anthony John and County Executive for Environment and Natural Resources John Makau Ngilu said indiscriminate tree cutting for charcoal burning and trade has caused irredeemable environmental damage in the county.
She urged residents to plant trees and consider new methods for earning of livelihoods and desist from perpetuated environmental degradation through charcoal burning.
She disclosed her Government would control transportation of charcoal outside the county allowing local production, trade and consumption only.
Moreover, she told residents her Government would purchase enough land for establishment of a livestock yard and an open air market for the inter-county Mutha market that attracts traders from the entire Ukambani and beyond.