Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has claimed that the government sabotaged his efforts of acquiring a surveillance aircraft, which “would have been used to enhance security in the county”.
Gideon Moi had, in 2013 during campaigns, promised Baringo residents that he would purchase a surveillance aircraft to help monitor armed bandits who have left several dead, and others overmastered by fear.
Gideon Moi claims he gave KSh3.8 million to a consultancy firm, which recommended to him the chopper to purchase after a visibility study, hoping the government, through the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, would issue him with operating license. That did not happen.
Moi now says had he acquired the chopper, cases of bandit attacks in Baringo County could have been pared down, given aerial surveillance capabilities of the copter.
Speaking in Baringo North Sub County during the funeral service of Ng’orora area chief, Thomas Cheleken, Moi claimed that the then-Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Joseph Ole Lenku, summoned him to his office and gave him a letter, ordering him to abort plans of purchasing the aircraft.
“Lenku told me to stop involving myself in matters security, saying it was not a devolved function. At that time, I had already spent KSh3.8 million, from my personal kitty, in plans to purchase a surveillance aircraft,” said Moi.
The KANU Chairman has accused the Jubilee government of failing to provide security to Baringo residents,
“Had they (national government) allowed me to purchase the chopper, we could not be talking about numerous killings in the area. It could have been easier to tackle the bandits in the shortest time possible. We need advanced security technology in Baringo East, Baringo North and Baringo South areas,” said Gideon Moi.
In parts of Baringo North and Baringo South, thousands have been displaced, scores killed and injured and hundreds of livestock stolen by suspected bandits from East Pokot.
Over the past one month, the killer bandits have been at it again, spreading panic far and wide.
On February 24, a chief was killed by suspected Pokot bandits during DP William Ruto’s visit in Bartabwa, Baringo North Sub County.
Cattle theft, which was once part and parcel of the cultures of pastoralist communities, has now taken an evil twist.
Banditry attacks have been rampant in Sibilo, Bartabwa, Yattia, Kagir, Chemoe, Ng’aratuko, Loruk and Chepkewel in Baringo North, Arusei, Nyimbei and Kirim in Baringo South.
The state had gazetted 19 areas in Baringo County as disturbed and dangerous, paving way for police operation to weed out bandits.
In a notice issued on February 28, Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery said the order shall remain in force for the next 30 days.
(Writing by Brian Okoth)