By Simon Kobia
Isiolo County is home to many central government and international military installations and personnel, with both having activities in various parts of the county.
Battalions of the British Army, Kenya Defense Forces, and security personnel from Kenya Wildlife Service, National Police Service, Kenya Prisons, and many others, are heavily present in Isiolo.
But despite this impressive show of military might by their presence, it has not deterred local militia and marauding gangs which have become a source of insecurity in the county.
These gangs visit terror to defenseless locals, in conflicts revolving around the land, cattle rustling, and others.
In a strange twist, instead of both working in partnership to bolster peace, the Kenya Army and a section of residents were involved in a dispute over land ownership!
The issue escalated to the levels of locals holding demonstrations and calling upon the political leadership to intervene, as they accused the army of seeking to take away their ancestral land.
In another incident, a conflict emerged between the residents of Kinna ward Kenya Wildlife Service after the agency’s officers allegedly shot and killed a young man from the area they claimed was a poacher.
Kinna MCA Isaak Fayo accused the KWS officers of overstepping their mandate in the protection of wildlife.
The ward rep said that criminal cases like poaching, if any had been committed by any local, should be dealt with by the National Police Service, KWS.
“According to the Kenya Wildlife Service Act, the role of KWS is protecting the wild animals and they have nothing to do with civilian activities. They are supposed to report crimes to the police as the law dictates, not to take the law into their hands. We condemn the killing of our young man,” Fayo said.
The residents now want the government to have clear structures of operations of all the security agencies that are based in different parts of Isiolo.