Kajiado county commissioner Joshua Nkanatha has issued a directive that grants permission to shoot to kill those who steal livestock, especially in Kajiado East Subcounty.
Nkanatha says the security agencies will now use maximum force to contain the rampant livestock theft that has seen over 1,000 sheep and goats stolen in the last six months alone.
“Sheep and goat thieves have now become too notorious. I want to warn them that they have dared us as law enforcers but they will not intimidate us. It is no longer business as usual and I have directed my security team to use maximum force in containing this menace. If it will take bullets to contain this menace, the criminals should be warned that it is time,” warned Nkanatha.
The commissioner said preliminary investigations have implicated rogue businessmen who work with locals morans to facilitate the theft and soon they will be profiled and face the wrath of the law.
” If anybody wants to do business, they should engage in legal business. We cannot allow a few selfish individuals to run the economy through theft. The rogue business persons want to maximize on profits at the expense of crying herdsmen economy. It is time to separate wheat and chuff for the sanity of all.
Nkanatha also further said they are conducting thorough investigations on any involvement of security agencies in the syndicate that have left farmers counting massive losses.
“It is unfortunate that the theft is happening at the wee hours of the night. We have curfew and then everyone should be indoors. We must get to the bottom of who are these powerful gangsters who manage to defy the curfew and at the same time freely commit crime, “he said.
Nkanatha urged members of the public and security agencies to stop blame games and instead focus on looking for solutions to end the menace.
” There has been a communication breakdown between members of the public and police officers. We will be holding a crisis meeting this week where all stakeholders from village elders will be directed to work mutually in curbing the menace. Any person who is supposed to play a role in maintaining security should be up to the task anything less that is nonsense that I shall not tolerate, “he said.
Nkanatha said they have so far netted four notorious thieves believed to be the ring leaders of the cartel and they are pursuing more suspects.
” We have quite a number of sheep and goats that have been recovered at various slaughterhouses. The recovery has given us a hint on how the crafty cartels are operating, they still hold the livestock for some time and then ferry them to slaughterhouses. We are optimistic that soon we will arrest this worrying trend, “he said.
The commissioner directive comes at a time when farmers from Isinya sub-county have been forced to keep vigil all day night to guard their livestock.
This is after the unknown criminals went round poisoning dogs which are ordinarily used by the herdsmen to guard livestock through barking alerts.
The farmers had also raised concerns of spraying of unknown chemicals that make them fall asleep and can barely hear any commotion.
It has also been shocking that the thieves use vehicles to ferry stolen livestock unheard.
Several homes in Kaputiei North Isinya have been left with no single sheep or goat.
A major security meeting that will bring together locals and security agencies to be chaired by the county commissioner is set for Thursday this week.