By Joshua Kibet
Potential voters in parts of Baringo North Sub County might not beat the nationwide voter registration deadline slated for today due to prevailing drought and persistent cattle rustling in the area.
The Saimo Soi ward MCA, Richard Kambala says it was very difficult for people in the area to enlist as voters as they lived in constant fear of armed bandits, who normally raided and drove away their livestock, reducing them into paupers.
Speaking to the press in Kabarnet on Sunday, Kambala said in the past one week about 280 animals have been stolen by cattle rustlers from the neighbouring East Pokot Sub County.
He cited a case that happened on Saturday when bandits raided the home of Sarah Kiptoon, a teacher at Ngaratuko primary, shot her daughter and killed a dog before driving off with 200 goats.
During the 10pm incident, Kambala stated, the thugs drove the animals towards Chemeril area in Korosi Hills where security officers tracking them lost their foot prints.
The MCA said in the same week, another batch of cattle rustlers from Tiaty raided the home of Joseph Kipyakomen in Loruk village at around 9.30pm where they cut a chain link wire, entered into the homestead, selected 40 health goats and 14 sheep and took them away, leaving behind the emaciated and weak ones.
Accompanied by Baringo North peace committee chairman and former councilor, David Chemursoi, the ward representative lamented that not a single animal has been recovered, despite several resolutions passed to the effect that all livestock stolen must be returned.
He appealed to the National Government to intensify patrols along the common borders of the sub county and that of East Pokot as residents in the affected areas of Ngaratuko, Chemoe, Loruk, Kosile, Chepkewel and Moinoni were a worried lot as they did not know which home the bandits would strike next.
The two leaders also urged the Government to deploy more security personnel to the existing police posts and camps at Yatia, Loruk and Chemoe and provide officers with adequate equipment to facilitate faster movement.
The leaders noted with dismay that the attacks always escalated during the electioneering period, adding that in 2012/2013, Pokot rustlers stole over 4, 000 herd of cattle in the region and displaced hundreds of families thus destroying their economies.
They lamented that years later, the same trend seems to be continuing as the bandit attacks have now intensified in all areas along the common border.