The Kuria Council of Elders has resolved to use cultural intervention through “Engoro’ (a traditional communal ceremony) to assist government mop-up illegal firearms in the community.
The Council’s action comes amid persistent violent crimes carried out by heavily armed robbers in the region.
The State has in the past years issued several amnesties to suspected community members possessing illicit firearms to surrender them but the gestures have not been fruitful as anticipated.
‘Engoro’ is a traditional communal ceremony performed by the elders against all the suspects who refuse to comply with the communal appeal to desist from a condemned practice.
It is believed that bad omen befalls those who take part in the ceremony yet they know they are guilty of the accusations leveled against them.
The cultural practice is regarded by the Kuria’s four clans of Abanyabasi and Abairege of Kuria East and Abakira and Abagumbe of Kuria West as the last option to condemn the suspects who are in denial of possessing illegal guns or have done something condemned communally.
Members of the highly regarded Council from the four clans met at Chinato area over the weekend to deliberate on the best way to prop up suspects in the region to surrender the weapons.
According to our sources, the Council affirmed its commitment to ensure all illegal guns in the possession of gangs promoting cattle theft, loss of lives and properties in the region are recovered.
National Government Administration forces in collaboration with the civil society have been organizing peace caravans while clan elders have been moving between Migori and Trans Mara Counties, preaching to the members of the Maasai, Kipsigis and the Kuria communities to hand over all the illegal guns in their possession but in vain.
Migori County Commissioner, Boaz Cherutich, welcomed the move by the Council of elders and urged those from the Maasai and Kipsigis to follow suit saying it will enhance peaceful co-existence in the region.
“We will definitely support the Council by all means, if its move will help clean the region of illegal guns in the hands of criminals who are causing residents sleepless nights,” Cherutich said.