Leaders from Kitui County have trashed claims by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and their counterparts from north eastern that the clashes between Kamba farmers and camel herders along the border with Tana River County are politically instigated.
DPP Noordin Haji and the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti had toured the affected areas last week, where they said that the clashes are politically instigated and the politicians responsible would face stern action.
Led by Kitui Governor Charity Kaluki Ngilu, the leaders said that some senior government officials, who probably own the camels at the centre of the clashes which have led to the killing of more than 20 people in less than five years, are misleading the government that Kambas and Somalis are at peace yet locals are still losing lives with many fleeing their homes.
Speaking during the burial of Jonathan Nyamai, a deputy school head teacher at Kalambani Primary School in Mutomo in Kitui South Constituency, Governor Ngilu said that Kitui residents have suffered enough in the hands of Somali camel herders and anyone telling the government that there is peace is telling a lie.
“These people telling us that there isn’t insecurity in Kitui might be the real owners of the thousands of camels which have been causing havoc. We want to them to come for their animals because we can’t co-exist with people who are killing us and raping our women,” said Governor Ngilu.
The governor said that leaders from Kitui will be meeting the Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i in order to give him a true picture of what is happening along the border.
“I’ll lead all elected legislators from Kitui to meet the CS in charge of security Dr Fred Matiang’i so that we seek a lasting solution [to] the insecurity which has forced hundreds of residents to flee their homes in Mutha, Yimuumba and other parts along our border with Tana River,” added the governor.
Kitui south MP Rachael Nyamai, who also spoke at the burial, said that the situation in Inyali in Mutha, where more than 1,000 Somali herders have pitched camp, is a matter of national security as the camp is a potential training ground for terrorist groups like Al-Shabaab owing to the huge number of firearms hidden there.
“I want to tell President Uhuru Kenyatta not to listen to those people who are talking from Nairobi without any knowledge of Kitui. Let him only listen to local leaders who understand well the plight of those Kambas being killed in their shambas,” said Dr Nyamai.
“Also, he should know that there are hundreds of children of Somali origin who are living in the Inyali camp in Mutha without attending school and we think that radicalisation might be ongoing. Inyali is a potential Al-Shabaab breeding camp,” she added.
Dr Nyamai also urged the President to listen only to the local leaders and act swiftly because since several people have been killed along the border
Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi, who also spoke on the matter in Mwingi, said Kambas are a very peaceful people who have no problem at all with Somalis. He said the only problem is with bandits who invade their farms with herds of camels and kill locals whenever they try to resist them.
“We are not in any way at war with Kenyan Somalis. Our problem is with those bandits who invade our farms with herds of camels and kill our people. We thank the government for the steps it has taken so far to restore peace. However, more ought to be done to ensure that no more killings occur,” said Dr Mulyungi.
Mutomo Branch Knut Executive Secretary David Mwanzwii said that is was sad losing a teacher in the ongoing clashes and urged the national government to take immediate action and restore peace along the border.
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