Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu’s relentless efforts to provide a lasting solution to bandit attacks along the Kitui-Tana River border have borne fruits after Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) moved to establish a training base at Ukasi in Mwingi North.
The KDF presence at the extensive border line will sort once and for all the long-standing pastoral conflict between Kitui people and pastorist communities from North Eastern Kenya, that has so far claimed 143 innocent lives, since 1988.
Ordinarily, KDF doesn’t intervene in internal security issues involving conflict between communities, but after Governor Ngilu petitioned H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta, her request to have deployment of KDF in Kitui’s Eastern border was approved.
Today, President Kenyatta, who is Commander in Chief of Kenya Defense Forces, dispatched his Defense Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Monica Juma, to deliver the good news to Kitui County, at a security meeting at Ukasi market together with Governor Charity Ngilu.
The decision to have the military set up facilities including a training field comes after persistent lobbying by Governor Ngilu who had earlier given a promise to provide a permanent and sustainable solution to the long standing pastoral conflict.
Governor Ngilu and CS Monica, accompanied by senior military officers and other leaders took an aerial survey of the region and border that runs from Mutha in Kitui South to Sosoma in Mwingi North where they encountered fresh encroachment by NEP herders.
Details of the military intervention and the scale of personnel to be deployed remained a security secret, but Kitui people will now have a sigh of release and reap big through supply of goods and services to the KDF training base.
A team from the Department of Defense will be in place for the next 2 weeks scouting for a suitable place for the base.
“It is regrettable that it has taken longer than necessary to find lasting solutions to this conflict. One life lost is one too many” Governor Ngilu said.
Community leaders present appreciated Governor Ngilu on behalf of the community for her intervention to bring a lasting solution to an age old conflict.