The government will bar leaders who are inciting communities from vying in the coming elections, Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has said.
He regretted that some leaders are arming their communities so that they can win elections.
“We are collecting evidence. We will soon sue political leaders from these areas for causing violence. We will push them to be declared unfit to hold public office,” said the CS.
Dr Matiang’i said the government has since yesterday deployed more forces to create a buffer between the Turkana and Samburu. “Now, we have to go to the next step and I believe they must understand. We will go after them,” said the Interior CS.
He warned: “I do not want to say now what we are going to do. But there is one step that is left and that we are going to apply it. If they do not stop doing the things they are doing, we will move. I am happy the court today has jailed former Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel for one year. That is the way we are going to go.”
The tough-talking minister revealed that he spoke to some of the leaders from the affected communities and told them that enough is enough; that they must preach peace.
He said the perennial conflict between the Turkanas and Samburus has taken a political dimension, with some politicians inciting various groups.
The minister explained that the conflict is essentially cattle rustling that has gone awry.
He said Samburu and Turkana leaders are not willing to help their people live differently.
“We must solve the problem through inter-community conversations. We have succeeded in the West Pokot and Marakwet conflict because of responsible leaders who include governors John Lonyangapuo and Alex Tolgos, Senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Samuel Poghisio who go there and have a conversation,” said the CS.
In Marsabit, he said the conflict there is historical and has consumed a lot of their leaders.
“We lost former minister Bonaya Godana as he tried to resolve that conflict. The leaders of today in Marsabit must rise up to the challenge. They must put their people together instead of inciting them to kill each other,” he said.
As the country approaches an electioneering year, he asked all leaders, aspirants and Kenyans at large to maintain peace and democracy.
“We want the real will of the people to be heard and felt in the country. Let all campaign peacefully,” said Dr Matiang’i as he urged Gusii residents not to take seriously leaders who dupe them for reasons of gaining election mileage.