Turkana South Member of Parliament (MP) John Namoit has dismissed the order issued by Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Kithure Kindiki that residents living in bandit-prone regions should vacate to allow the government room to weed out criminals.

In a statement on Monday, Namoit differed with Kindiki’s orders, claiming that forcing residents to vacate without providing an alternative destination for them is not practical.

In his constituency, Namoit argued that residents have established businesses and other activities which acts as a source of livelihood for them.

“I disagree in totality with the order and do ask the CS to explore additional ways that they can use to protect the livelihoods of Kenyans living in these areas,” he said.

“These Kenyans do not have immediate areas of refuge and their properties should be protected instead of ordering them to vacate.”

The legislator further recommended a number of alternative approaches to tame the bandits instead of forcing the residents to leave hastily.

He asked the interior minister to conduct manual search in the areas marked as breeding grounds for the gangs for easier identification.

He added that the bandit hideouts identified with area elders should be ransacked as the information has already been shared with authorities

For ease of peace negotiations and disarmament, he opined that every community should  return to respective areas .

“Past negotiations landed on deaf ears because some communities were residing inside others territories,” he said.

Kindiki gave the vacate order on Sunday, stating that the measure is set to “inflict maximum pain on criminals” and neutralize the banditry menace that has already been declared a national emergency.

He warned that any person found in the aforementioned areas as from Monday, March 13,  “will be treated as a suspect of armed banditry, or as a suspect of aiding and abetting banditry, or an accessory after the fact”.

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