Government to reposes illegal fire arms
The government will carry out an operation meant to mop up all illegal fire arms among civilians in Endebess Sub County.
Trans Nzoia County commissioner Ann Gakuria also said that plans are underway to establish a police border post at the Suam border to control movement of contraband goods and infiltration of illegal firearms.
The county commissioner said that security agencies are on high alert and intelligence beefed up to ensure that all the illegal firearms are recovered from the area.
Gakuria was speaking to the Senate and Parliamentary Joint Committee on National Cohesion and equal opportunity that visited the county to assess its preparedness to ensure peaceful elections.
According to the county commissioner, the government is targeting to recover at least 2000 illegal fire arms that are in the hands of individuals from the region.
The CC noted that the porous Suam Border is prone to illegal entry of illegal firearms and contraband goods as it has many ‘panya’ routes a fact that is affecting peace initiatives in the region.
She noted that the border post will help in shielding away non locals from sneaking into the county, adding that it will also check on claims of non Kenyans supporting politicians in ascending into power through voting.
“We have also noted that there are some remnants of the Lords Resistant Army (LRA) crossing over from Uganda to Kenya through Mt. Elgon,” she noted.
However Gakuria said that the government has put in place appropriate measures that have assisted in containing the filtration of illegal fire-arms. She said security agencies have mapped out the hideouts for illegal arms.
Other areas of interest that the administrator mentioned as critical to security of the County include double issuance of title deeds to farms in the region.
According her, double issuance of titles of Nyakinywa farm and some parcels in Kiminini might trigger conflict if not well handled.
She also said some communities in the region still lay claim to ancestral claims that Trans Nzoia belongs to them and should be reverted to them.
She cited the Pokot community living in Endebess that has gone to court over the same.
She noted that although the County has enjoyed peaceful co-existence over the years due to its cosmopolitan nature, some areas like Endebess, Saboti and Cherangany are hot spots, which should be marked for proper intelligence and close monitoring.
Nominated Senator Godliver Omondi led the delegation of the committee who included Uasin Gishu Senator Isaac Melly, Nominated senator Dr. Agnes Zani, MP for Nandi Zipporah Kering and Joseph Nasongo a commissioner from the National Cohesion and Integration commission.
Senator Omondi urged the county commissioner to fast track establishment of the border post in Suam border and mapping exercise before the campaigns kick off.
She also urged the lands commission and the government to resolve the lands issues pitting settlement schemes such as Chepchoina, which has had a history of conflict during the elections years.
She assured Kenyans that the commission was doing its best to ensure that the August polls are peaceful.
“I urge the government and the lands commission to deal with land issues which have over time destabilized the country, especially during elections,” Senator Omondi pointed out.
Uasin Gishu senator Isaac Melly warned leaders against inciting communities during the electioneering period, saying relevant arms of government will firmly deal with such leaders.
He said that Kenya was not ready to have a repeat of what happened in 2007/2008, adding that appropriate measures have been put in place to ensure that violence is not witnessed again.
“I assure the residents today that the government has put in place appropriate security measures that will ensure peaceful elections that will be replicated in the coming years,” he added.
He however reminded residents of Trans Nzoia that security is a responsibility of all Kenyans and asked them the volunteer information to security agents that will help curb criminal activities on time.
“People should understand that we are one nation and one Kenya and all of us must embrace peace for development,” said Senator Melly.
Zipporah Kering commended peace committees at various levels in the country for uniting warring communities.
She disclosed that the committee will fund the peace committees to enable them carry out their activities during the electioneering period.
“All we know is that the voter is the person to be given the opportunity to vote for the people they want, and they should not be coerced by anybody. We are ready to protect the voter,” she said.