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Suffering residents now turn to governor Malombe in the wake of bandit attacks

Suffering residents now turn to governor Malombe in the wake of bandit attacks
Ukasi residents patrol their village after a recent bandit attack.Photo/Mwingi Times

  “We know security is a function of the national government, but our MP has been less concerned, even after the recent attacks,” said Ms Tabitha Nzanzai a resident of Kathungu village.
Residents of the remote villages of Ukasi location, Kitui County now have turned their eyes on the county government for a quick intervention following the bleak suffering occasioned by spate of bandit attacks in the areas located near the volatile border of Kitui and Tana River counties.
  Speaking to the Mwingi Times they called on Governor Julius Malombe to swiftly act in a bid to ensure that security in the area is restored once and for all. They also called for relief food aid to cushion the fleeing families from  hunger. 
  Their cries came even as a section of the leaders from the county called on the government to find a lasting solution to the banditry menace which has since November last year claimed lives of five people in the boundary areas of Mwingi Central and Mwingi North constituencies.
  The agonizing locals accused their area MP Joe Mutambu of neglecting them even during their most moment of need, adding that their only hope was on the governor. They asked Dr Malombe to quickly take their grievances to President Uhuru Kenyatta so that security would be deployed in the area.
  “We know security is a function of the national government, but our MP has been less concerned, even after the recent attacks,” said a resident of Kathungu village Ms Tabitha Nzanzai.
  She lamented that many of the residents have in the recent weeks been having sleepless nights for fear of being invaded again. “On Friday last week our shopping centre was nearly overrun by gunmen. This has prompted many people to flee. The few who have been left behind, are keeping vigilant day and night,” said Ms Nzanzai.
  She said both men and women had abandoned their chores of providing to their families, to persuade the bandits and others in readiness to repulse the attackers in case they would pop.
  “When a camel is killed or lost, a contingent of armed policemen is always seen around. The officers relentlessly look for the animal until they see it. But when a human life is lost the police always claim there is no fuel or the area of the scene is inaccessible,” Ms Nzanzai lamented.
  Another local Mr Mwangangi Mutangili said illegal herders armed with rifles had encroached their land barring the locals from accessing their farms. “I have lived here for 17 years but what is happening now is very disturbing. For the first time we have not attended our shambas neither can our children go to school,” said Mr Mutangili. He accused the police of failing to protect them.
  The locals claimed some highly profiled individuals in government and politicians from northeastern Kenya counties owned camels being grazed by their agents in the area. They also alleged some Kitui leaders had conspired with the owners of the camels, a reason they attributed to government’s laxity in handling the menace that has already left 14 people lifeless since 2013.   
  Following the recent attacks more than 2,000 fleeing families from Kathungu, Katangini, Sosoma, Kiio and Ngooni villages are already facing abject starvation.  “The government has forgotten us. I have together with my 12 children  slept on a empty stomach for three days now because I can hardly settle my Sh 12,000 food debt which has accrued at the local shop over the few weeks I have been camping here,” Mrs Kamene Muthengi tearfully narrated her ordeal.
  Nguni ward Council of Elders chairman Mr Simon Kasiva accused the county government leadership of turning a blind eye on its people despite being aware of their predicaments.
  “As the council of elders from this region of Mwingi we wrote a letter to the governor about this bandit menace. People are now being killed and even our land is at the verge of being possessed by people from northeastern Kenya while you are watching,” he said.
  Mr Kasiva threatened to lead a team of elders to storm the county boss’s office in Kitui town if the governor would not have “acted” by mid this week.
  Meanwhile Mwingi North MP John Munuve and Wiper party nominated lawmaker Bishop Robert Mutemi asked the national government to move with speed to ensure the illegal herders are flushed out of Kitui County.
  The two legislators said the government had the ultimate responsibility to ensure its people lived peacefully. Mr Munuve however said the government had erected a temporary police post at Inyanzae and normalcy was returning in those parts of Ngomeni division. He said families in the area were returning home and learning would resume in four primary schools Monday

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