In response to the escalating cattle rustling crisis in the region, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki unveiled a comprehensive security plan for the Meru-Isiolo border. The initiative aims to address the issue, which has long plagued 15 counties, particularly five sub-counties in Meru.
Kindiki announced the deployment of special units in Meru and Isiolo, emphasizing that general duty officers are insufficient for stopping cattle rustling. The plan follows the government’s successful efforts in curbing banditry in Rift Valley. Cattle rustling is considered the country’s second-highest security threat, after terrorism.
During a security meeting at Antubetwe Kiongo Market on Tuesday, Kindiki also directed the establishment of an Anti Stock Theft Unit in the area. The meeting was attended by officials from Meru and Isiolo County, as well as Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi, Deputy Governor Isaac M’Ethingia, and MPs Moses Kirima and Mugambi Rindikiri.
The security discussion was prompted by the recent killing of former Antubetwe Kiongo MCA George Kaliunga, with Kindiki calling for a special investigation team to probe the incident. In the last two weeks, cattle rustling has claimed the lives of three people and injured one in the region.
Meru Senator Kathuri Murungi urged authorities to conduct an operation in Isiolo to recover stolen livestock, acknowledging the long-standing suffering caused by cattle rustlers. Kindiki further directed the upgrading of two police posts in Mutuati Sub County to police stations and the deployment of 200 police reservists within a month.
County Commissioners Fred Ndunga of Meru and Geoffrey Omoding of Isiolo were ordered to collaborate to ensure heightened security along the border. Kindiki also called for an urgent meeting between the Meru and Tharaka Nithi County Commissioners to address ongoing boundary conflicts and escalating tensions over land disputes.