Deputy President William Ruto on Friday issued a shoot-to-kill order moments after his rally in the volatile Baringo county was temporarily disrupted by bandits who had raided a nearby village and stolen cattle.
The Deputy President who said the government had tolerated cattle rustling long enough ordered police officers to shoot anyone stealing livestock, whether in possession of a firearm or not and also anyone found with illegal firearm.
“We will no longer lose more people because of some few elements who do not want to reform,”said the DP.
And in an ironic turn of events, residents attending the rally at Sibilo in Baringo North, were forced to scamper for safety as heavy gun fire rent the air at Bartabwa, about five kilometres from where Ruto was holding a rally.
The rally, however, continued after gunshots stopped but shortly after, Ng’orora location chief Thomas Chebor was gunned down by bandits while on his way to Chekokel area to recover the stolen livestock.
Chekokel is five few kilometres from Sibilo where Ruto addressed another rally and gave the shoot-to-kill order.
The midday incident, which also saw an unknown number of livestock driven away by the bandits, has stoked fears and intensified number of those fleeing.
The death toll has risen to 10 people in the last one week as insecurity continues to escalate with more than 3,000 families so far displaced by the violence.
And affirming the new resolve,Baringo County Commissioner Peter Okwanyo said the bandits had crossed the red line and should be ready to face the “worst consequences”.