Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya has claimed that the Laikipia bandits are using powerful machinery to carry out attacks in the region.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, Natembeya admitted that the Laikipia gunmen are in a possession of sophisticated weapons which are used by foreign armies who come for training in Kenya.
The Rift valley Regional Commissioner claimed that they don’t know how the bandits get access to the heavy weapons that they use to launch attacks in Laikipia County.
“While our officers are using AK47 and G3 rifles, the bandits (in Laikipia) are using M16s and other heavy machinery, which are usually used by foreign armies who come for training in Kenya. We don’t know how they get these heavy weapons,” Natembeya stated.
The regional commander comments came after it emerged that seven people, among them 3 police officers, lost their lives to bandit attacks in just weeks.
He further explained that the police would use force in trying to fish out the thugs to help secure Laikipia and its neighbouring counties.
Natembeya also noted that most of the thugs had moved to Laikipia from Baringo County, where the National Police Service (NPS) had waged war on them.
In the first assignment since Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i instituted a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) disclosed that a multi-agency team thwarted an attempt to set a school on fire.
“Following a security operation in Laikipia to flush out armed bandits, who have invaded Laikipia Nature Conservancy leading to insecurity within the area, a multiagency security team today thwarted a suspected attempt to burn Merigwiti Primary School.
“An assessment of the school established that only a store containing building materials (wood) caught fire, which was promptly put out with no damage to the school,” the statement read in part.
Other counties that had been overwhelmed by cattle rustling and banditry attacks include Baringo, Isiolo and parts of Elgeyo Marakwet.
Kapedo was the worst hit but was rehabilitated after months of security operations.