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By Mwingi Times Reporter

Camel herders have continued to cause Mwingi residents sleepless nights, threatening them and grazing camel on their farms, few weeks after Eastern Regional Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru and his counterpart from the coast region John Elung’ata met security officials from Kitui and Tana River counties and elders from the two counties, in a bid to find a lasting solution to the state of insecurity along the border.
 Shockingly, the camel herders never moved an inch from Kitui even after the meeting which ran across the day. More camels have been sighted in parts of Kaningo, Masyungwa and Ngomeni in Mwingi north constituency, with residents forced to flee their homes for fear of attacks.
The residents have been accusing the local administration of colluding with the camel herders and giving them immunity as they continue persecuting innocent farmers.
John Musyoka, a local clearly termed corruption as the major cause of the deadly interrelation for most of security team officials have been compromised by these pastoralists who are said to have high government connections.
“Whatever is causing us endless pain is geared by most of our compromised security officers and when we try to protect our land by declaring it camel free, some of us are arrested because the bandits have been issued with grazing permits,” John stated.
John further noted that the guns issued to National Police Reservists [NPR] are meaningless and should be surrendered back to the relevant venues for they are of no aid to the suffering society.

Kimanzi, another resident who chairs peace meetings in the area told area leaders to step down if they have lost the bandits battle and leave it to the locals for they have had enough of the menace.

“We have collected over 360 signatures in the area where majority have condemned the infestation. We are not ready for any reconciliation and we will not surrender our lands to the intruders,” angry Kimanzi further stated.

Mary Mwendwa, a lady from Kasiluni painfully narrated how innocent mothers have been suffering in the bush, some being young mothers who are still nursing their infants. She said that education has also been paralyzed as with such state of insecurity nearby schools like Kasiluni Primary and Mandongoi primary schools have adversely affected as pupils fail to attend school due to rising insecurity.
Addressing the press moments after the meeting which took more than six hours, the two regional commissioners had assured residents living along the border between the two counties of enhanced security in future, while at the same time urging them to coexist in harmony.
Eastern Regional Commissioner Isaiah Nakoru and his counterpart from the coast region John Elung’ata
Eastern Regional commissioner Isaiah Nakoru said that they decided to meet all stakeholders in order to restore peace along the border.
Mr. Nakoru said that elders from the two counties have been tasked with handling issues of pasture and water which have been the key causes of conflict, as camel herders and farmers clash.
“We have established peace committees comprising of elders from the two counties whom would be handling issues of water and pasture and ensuring that no intruder comes to disrupt peace in their areas without their knowledge,” Said Eastern  regional Commissioner Mr. Nakoru.
He also said that all those found illegally invading farms to grace their camels would be arrested and charged.
“We have also directed security personnel from the two counties to ensure that any criminal who forcefully grazes their camel in other  people’s farms are arrested and charged, as such kind of behavior can’t be tolerated any further,” added Mr. Nakoru.
Coast Regional commissioner John Elung’ata said that their meeting was triggered by directive by Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i demanding security personnel from the two counties to sit and seek lasting solution for insecurity along the border between the two counties.
“Our meeting today was triggered by remarks which were made by the interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i when he visited Kitui a week ago requiring us to meet and solve issues of insecurity along the border,” stated Mr. Elung’ata.
Mr. Elung’ata said that it was established that the camel herders who have been the cause of insecurity are neither from Kitui nor Tana River counties, hence leaders from the two counties resolved to do their part in ensuring that peace prevails and no camel herders go through Tana River County to cause mayhem in Kitui.
“During today’s meeting we have been able to establish that the Camel herders of Somali origin do not originate from both Kitui or Tana River counties, with some coming from as far as Wajir and Isiolo counties. It’s owing to this revelation that we have directed our security personnel to ensure that no one is allowed to enter our counties without first registering with the relevant authorities,” added the Coast regional commissioner.

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