In a firm response to escalating conflicts on the Sondu/Kericho border, President William Ruto recently issued a stern warning, stating that the government would no longer turn a blind eye to acts of hooliganism that have unfortunately plagued the region. He was clear in his mandate to the Cabinet Secretary for Interior, Kithure Kindiki, to address and resolve the issues with the culprits responsible for the tensions and violent outbreaks. This inter-ethnic conflict has tragically resulted in the deaths of three innocent individuals so far.
Expressing his commitment to ensuring safety and stability in the region, President Ruto conveyed his administration’s dedication to preserving peace and ensuring that a handful of rogue individuals do not derail the nation’s progress. He drew parallels between the measures used to combat the notorious Al Shabaab in the North Rift and emphasized that the same determination would be applied here. The President voiced his concerns regarding a small group of agitators who seem intent on sowing discord between two ethnic groups that have historically coexisted peacefully. The recent eruptions of violence have sadly culminated in seven reported deaths and multiple properties being destroyed.
Asserting his administration’s dedication to the rule of law, Ruto stressed that individuals found responsible for the deaths must face legal consequences. He expressed his determination in ensuring no one involved would be able to evade capture, reiterating the government’s zero-tolerance stance against those compromising peaceful coexistence for selfish motives.
This declaration was made during the President’s visit to Kabonyo Kanyagwal for the inauguration of the Ksh1 billion Kabonyo fisheries and aquaculture service and training centre. This ambitious project promises to produce a whopping 7 million fingerlings each year, with excess stock purposed for replenishing Lake Victoria. Ruto envisions this initiative as a pivotal stride towards food security and a significant boost for local employment opportunities.
However, his visit was not devoid of challenges. Kisumu Senator Prof. Tom Ojienda and Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o both urged the President to address the ongoing border conflicts and ensure a resolution. They emphasized the urgent need to halt ethnic tensions and maintain the unity and harmony that Kenya embodies.
In a disturbing development, the Kisumu sub-county hospital was compelled to cease operations temporarily due to escalating violence. Gregory Ganda, Kisumu County’s Minister for Health, reported an attack on the hospital on October 4, 2023, with the facility’s security personnel being targeted by arrows. This has instilled fear among health workers, leading many to abandon their posts.
President Ruto’s visit to Kabonyo Kanyagwal was marked by warm greetings from prominent figures, including ICT CS Eliud Owalo, PS Interior Dr Raymond Omollo, and Fisheries CS Salim Mvurya, among others.
Commending the National government for its ongoing fisheries project in Kisumu County, Prof. Nyong’o underscored its significance in aligning with the Kenya Vision 2030 and its potential to alleviate pressure on Lake Victoria’s fish stocks. He highlighted the project’s broader regional implications, with the centre set to serve East and Central Africa, making Kisumu a nexus for aquaculture. This initiative promises a plethora of benefits, from innovative aquaculture technologies to job creation and more, catering to a diverse range of stakeholders.