Women oppose police search in Mt
March 10, 2008
By Allan Kisia, Robert Wanyonyi and Isaiah Lucheli
Women from Mt Elgon have expressed concern over the impending
security operation to flush out Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF)
The women said innocent people, including women and children, were
harassed and sometimes killed in such operations.
Mrs Christine Osuka, an ActionAid official, said children could
not attend school in such times. "Some criminals also take
advantage of such operations to rape women and commit other crimes,"
Osuka said. Ms Linet Chemtai, an ODM nominated councillor in Mt
Elgon, said the district was peaceful and trouble had only been
reported in Trans-Nzoia. "Security operations in Mt Elgon will
interfere with this year’s planting season," added Chemtai.
The two made the remarks after holding a procession in Kapsokwony
division in Mt Elgon to celebrate International Women’s Day.
The procession was characterised by peace and reconciliation
Ms Jennifer Mbatiany, the chairperson of Maendeleo Ya Wanawake
Organisation in Mt Elgon, said officers should be careful when
carrying out operations in the district, and should not harass or
mistreat innocent people. "Women and children suffer the most as
they cannot run as fast as men," she said.
Mbatiany said the Government should include women in peace
meetings to end clashes in the area.
"We are in a better position to pass peace messages than our male
counterparts," she added.
Meanwhile, police recovered 31 cows and arrested two suspected
cattle rustlers following a fierce exchange of gunfire in Kapolet
Forest in Trans-Nzoia District. Police cordoned off the forest,
which served as a hideout for the bandits terrorising residents of
Munyaka and Bahati villages.
A contingent of administration and regular police started combing
the forest on Saturday night after the raiders attacked the
villages, killed six people and stole more than 1,000 livestock.
Cherangany MP, Mr Joshua Kutuny, said the bandits had taken
advantage of post-election violence to terrorise villagers and