Herders will not be allowed to pitch manyattas along the Merille- Laisamis section of the Isiolo- Marsabit Highway as they allegedly harbour suspected criminals behind highway banditry.
The Marsabit South Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Dickson Mutua has disclosed the arrest of two suspects and recovery of an illegal carbine rifle and five rounds of ammunition.
Mutua told KNA on the telephone that the sub-county security and intelligence committee had resolved that herders from interior parts of the sub-county who had moved to the area with their livestock should relocate without delay.
The DCC cautioned that anyone defying the order would be prosecuted adding that the herders were expected to pull down their temporary manyattas starting Tuesday.
“We will not condone lawlessness on the highway and I am asking the residents to report without fear anybody who they suspect is in possession of an illegal firearm for prompt action,” said the DCC.
The move was prompted by a robbery incident at Moile area on Sunday involving a truck belonging to DHL Courier Company that was transporting 1027 creates of beer to Marsabit from Nairobi.
Mutua said that three suspected highway bandits who were reportedly armed with rifles waylaid the driver and his two passengers in a daring daylight robbery and made away with Sh.9,150.
The DCC said security personnel dispatched from Laisamis police station embarked on a serious operation to arrest the suspects by following their footmarks.
The police officers who were accompanied by the driver stumbled on the two suspects as they rested under a tree on the banks of Lensikar seasonal river about 5 kilometres from the scene.
“The suspect with the gun tried to hide the rifle under a lump of sand on spotting the security officers as they were too close for any action and he was disarmed without resistance,” said Mutua, adding that the victim of the attack confirmed that the arrested duo were not the ones involved in the robbery.
The development impelled a manhunt for the suspected armed criminals with the security committee reaching the decision to push away herders who had migrated to the area and pitched temporary settlements along the Merille-Laisamis section of the highway.
The DCC assured travelers to and from Marsabit that their safety was guaranteed, adding that day and night security patrols on the highway had been enhanced.
By Sebastian Miriti