Did the government give the residents of Baringo guns to defend themselves with?
“Baadaye wanakuja hapa na kupea watu bunduki. Hiyo ni kionyesha kwamba ulinzi wa usalama uneshinda serikali, were unapewa buduki, ujilinde wewe mwenyewe.” –Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga at a rally in Baringo County on May 25.
The Nasa presidential candidate was referring to an incident on Monday, February 27, when Deputy President William Ruto came to Kerio Valley and commissioned 230 police reservists at Chesongoch Catholic Church.
DP Ruto was returning to the area, having travelled there the previous Friday, February 24, when he ordered that armed bandits should not be spared, but shot.
The deployment of reservists was part of a bigger deployment. On January 3, 2017 Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Wanyama Musiambo stated the government would recruit around 3,200 reservists to keep order in the Kerio Valley, and on March 1, the National Police Service put out a statement that the government had recruited 1,739 reservists to bolster the existing 7,609 since the beginning of 2017.