Published on March 25, 2008, 12:00 am
By Allan Kisia and Robert Wanyonyi
The Government has stepped up its hunt for alleged Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) leader, 24-year-old Wycliffe Matakwei.
However, Western PC, Mr Abdul Mwasserah, could not confirm reports that Matakwei had fled to Uganda just before the military operation was launched.
“We will still get him and his accomplices no matter where they run to,” said the PC.
He said security operations had been strengthened along the border to prevent SLDF militia from crossing into Uganda.
Mwasserah said Kenyan and Ugandan authorities had agreed to work together to wipe out the militia group.
He said seven suspects repatriated by Ugandan authorities would be charged in court this week.
Kapsokwony DO, Mr Donald Koech, had earlier indicated that they were closing in on Matakwei.
Speaking to The Standard on telephone Monday, Mwasserah said 36 AK-47 rifles had been surrendered to the Government.
The weapons were surrendered after the Government announced an amnesty that will end on Sunday.
The amnesty period was extended by a week after militia members, including their alleged leaders, surrendered and handed in their weapons.
The Government has launched an operation involving the military and police to flush out militia groups that have been accused of killing more than 600 people in the last one and a half years.
Residents have been urged to volunteer information that will help security officers recover more weapons.
Mwasserah noted that most of the weapons surrendered were in Kopsiro division. He said they were still waiting for militia members in Cheptais to take advantage of the amnesty.
Residents, however, have accused security personnel of harassing them while conducting searches. They also claim that some local politicians were members of SLDF. It is alleged that a councillor in Mt Elgon is a commander of the SLDF.
Meanwhile, the security operation in Mt Elgon continued unabated over the Easter weekend.
Officers carried out raids at Cheptais and parts of Kopsiro division even as the DC, Mr Mohammed Birik, dismissed complaints of harassment by residents.
Birik appealed for support from residents and local leaders to root out SLDF militia and warned them against politicising the operation.
He said more than 700 suspects had been interrogated and released, with 285 being taken to court.
He said the suspects had been remanded in custody and would appear in court on April 7 to answer to various charges.