By BONIFACE MULU
The Kitui County government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the National Police Service (NPS) for the aim of maintaining peace on the Kitui-Tana River Counties border.
The pact was signed recently at the Kitui County Governor Office boardroom. The Kitui County Police Commander Leah Kithei signed the pact on behalf of the National Police Service with the Kitui County Decentralised Units, South Eastern Kenya Economic Bloc (SEKEB) and Intergovernmental Relations Chief Officer Stephen Kitonga Salee signing on behalf of the Kitui County government.
The colourful ceremony was witnessed by the Kitui County Governor Julius Makau Malombe, the County Commissioner Erastus Mwenda Mbui, the Deputy County Governor Augustine Wambua Kanani, the county ministers, county assembly members, the Deputy Kitui County Secretary Alex Nzioka Kimanzi and the County Chief of Staff Mahmud Ashur Khalid among others.
The County Commissioner Erastus Mwenda Mbui is the County Security Committee Chairperson. Mbui said: “The MOU’s aim is to maintain peace along the Kitui-Tana River Counties border where the people of Kitui County live without peace as a result of the camel herders from Tana River and some other neighboring counties.”
“We are privileged this morning to be here. We are sharing with about this problem,” the Kitui County Commissioner said. The said camel herders have been a security threat to the Kitui people since the 1960s. “I appeal for calm as we try to solve this problem. The more we react, the more we cause harm.
We are committed to it (the problem) so that we can have peace and lasting peace,” Mbui said. There was an incident there on Wednesday, the state officer added. “The Kenya Prisons, the Kenya Police Service and the Kenya Forest Service are with us,” he said.
Mbui said the security sometimes is not about all the enforcement. “We are committed and I want to thank those partners because we have been working with them,” he said. “Kitui is vast. It is a vast region.
Its border with the Tana River County is about 300 kilometres from here,” Mbui further said. He was accompanied by his county security committee team including the County Police Commander Leah Kithei.
And on his part, Governor Malombe said: “I am happy to join you all on this important occasion.” The MOU is aimed at boosting the security in Kitui and the larger Kenya, the governor said. “For a long time now there have been some insecurity cases on our border with Tana River County that have been even leading to fatalities,” Dr. Malombe said.
The insecurity in our county is by the immigrant camel herders from Tana River, Wajir, Garissa and Mandera Counties and as far from Somalia itself, the governor said, adding that those herders infiltrate into Kitui County through Tana River County.
The Kitui County’s affected areas are the Endau, Malalani, Mutha, Kanziku, Nguni, Kyuso, Tseikuru, Ngomeni and Mitamisyi Locations. “The conflict we witness in the county results from the water and pasture, immigrant community, artisanal and small-mining operations and pouching,” the Kitui County governor said. Malombe announced that they the county government are planning to construct some eight police stations in the county’s insecurity prone areas for the good of the peace in those areas. On the other hand, the NPS will provide security, he said.
“We are not talking about police posts. We are talking about police stations,” the governor said. “What we are doing is within the four corners of the law. We are not doing something outside the country’s constitution,” he added.
The NPS is a national government organisation, Malombe said. “We the county government is constructing the eight police stations in the county so that we can enhance security. Not only in our county but for the security in Kenya,” the governor said. “We need security in both ways.
We need security in Kitui. We need security in Tana River,” Governor Malombe said, adding that Kenya can’t be secure without security. My administration will collaborate with the NPS in the training of some 254 police reservists for the good of our county, Malombe said. “The MOU is not in agreement.
Is not a contractual agreement. You commit yourself to do what you are supposed to do as you sign an MOU,” the governor said.
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