Hundreds of Malaba town residents Monday staged protests over insecurity in the region following an attack on five security guards by unknown gang on Sunday night.
Armed with placards, the residents blocked Malaba-Eldoret highway for over three hours paralyzing the busy border town as they engaged police officers in running battle.
At one point the police used tear gas to disperse the residents who are blaming them for laxity following several insecurity incidences reported in the area recently.
“These officers are doing little to provide security to us, we have been complaining since and now the situation is worsening by day, as you can see the guards were attacked some few metres from the police station yet no action was taken” said Philip Jakaa, a resident.
“These police officers are busy and active in drinking dens to arrest brewers as well as chasing smugglers for bribes yet they can’t chase criminals,” said another resident.
The residents have called for the transfer of police officers who they say have overstayed in the region and have accused them of having links with criminals.
They questioned the manner in which night police patrols are done.
The five middle aged security guards who were Sunday night manning shops are in critical condition following the attack that left them with serious injuries. Three among them have been hospitalised at Busia Referral Hospital while the rest were taken to Bungoma General Hospital receiving treatment.
However Teso North Deputy County Commissioner Moses Lilan condemned the incident but downplayed laxity on the side of his officers.
Lilan said a manhunt has been commenced to search for the perpetrators.
Speaking to The Standard, Lilan affirmed that the officers were committed to apprehend the suspects and dismissed claims that the incident might be serialised.
“We have had other insecurity cases but we cannot say may be it’s a systematic attack on watchmen, we will treat it as an independent case,” said Lilan.
He appealed to the members of the public to volunteer information that might lead to arrest of the perpetrators.
Local leaders led by area MP Arthur Odera and Busia County Assembly deputy speaker Moses Otee condemned the incident demanding answers from the security agencies.
“We want the police to come out clean on the matter and bring to book the perpetrators in the shortest time possible, we can’t sit back and watch our people suffer” Lamented Odera.