A shoot-to-kill order was Friday issued to contain rising insecurity in western Kenya and other parts of the country.
Deputy President William Ruto told police to use maximum force in dealing with criminal gangs, pointing out that the government was concerned about the rising insecurity in the country.
“We have instructed police to use force to ensure criminal gangs do not take over the country. There are those who think the guns police have lack bullets. Any person armed to cause mayhem will be shot. The attacks and killing of innocent citizens should be immediately stopped,” said Mr Ruto who flew to Bungoma with top security chiefs including Inspector General David Kimaiyo.
He spoke as President Uhuru Kenyatta warned criminals they would face the full force of the law.
“Nobody will be allowed to threaten the existing peace in the country,” President Kenyatta said in a speech read on his behalf by Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki during a luncheon hosted by the Kenya Private Sector Alliance at a Nairobi hotel.
The insecurity matter has taken an international dimension, with the UN asking the government to stop the attacks and killings.
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Modibo Toure yesterday condemned recent attacks in Bungoma, which have claimed 10 lives and left more than 100 seriously injured.
“Residents are apprehensive as the motive of the indiscriminate attacks is not known,” he said.
Elsewhere, the Anglican Church of Kenya has urged the government to act to stem the wave of attacks.
“The insecurity and lawlessness has reached state of emergency proportions and should be addressed with urgency. The fact that a few local criminals are mobilised to launch attacks despite a police investigation is a sign of decadence in the country’s security systems,” said ACK Archbishop Eliud Wabukala.
He said the swiftness and coordination of the attacks showed structured planning.
“Whether the attacks are fuelled by local politics, economic interests or cultural intolerance, they display insensitivity to human dignity,” he said.
Speaking in Bungoma, Mr Ruto noted that the government had scaled up its intelligence gathering arm to ensure it gets to the root of the attacks.
He said additional GSU and Administration Police officers had been deployed to the affected areas to contain insecurity.
“We have also provided five additional vehicles to intensify patrols and response in addition to adding the number of officers to ensure normalcy is restored in affected areas so that Kenyans go on with their daily lives,” he said.
He urged governors and county commissioners to cooperate and ensure service delivery to residents.
Meanwhile, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula said leaflets had been circulating in various villages warning of further attacks in the area.
“Such leaflets should be investigated so that their source is known. In most cases, the attacks have been carried out following the circulation leaflets,” said Mr Wetang’ula during a public rally at Bungoma Posta grounds.