Cattle rustlers risk life sentence, MPs warn
04 November 2014, 22:55
Nairobi – Legislators from the joint Parliamentary committee on National Cohesion and Equal Opportunities have vowed to push for amendment to the penal code for cattle rustlers be treated as suspects of murder and robbery with violence.
The Committee’s Chairman, Johnson Sakaja, said the law is currently lenient to cattle rustling suspects committing heinous acts which are simply viewed as a cultural crime.
Doing amendments to the penal code for cattle rustling be considered robbery with violence while killing of the cattle owner classified as murder, Sakaja said it will lead to reduced cases of the practice in the affected regions.
“When a person steals your car it is considered as robbery, therefore we cannot go on treating these cattle rustling criminals with kid gloves,” said Sakaja.
“We intend to fast track the law and make it difficult for suspected criminal to be released on bail after being arrested for stealing cattle and also life imprisonment upon conviction,” he said.
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Sakaja revealed that his committee recently met Baringo leaders who proposed tougher action from the government on cattle rustling criminals.
He added that a draft bill with proposed stiffer penalties on the penal code is being prepared and brought to National Assembly for debate once the House returns from its 10-day recess.
Nominated Senator, Beatrice Elachi, who is a member of the joint committee, also condemned the cattle rustling practice that has resulted in loss of many live for both cattle owners and police officers.
“There is no culture that advocates killing of other people be they police or civilians to unlawfully acquire their property,” said Elachi.
She said police officers should be highly respected for their good job of maintaining law and order in the society.
“It is time to look at police officers positively as our sons, brothers and human beings, not as some kind of robots who dropped from the sky to deserve merciless killings,” said Elachi.
Sakaja also called on the government to ensure all perpetrators of recent police killings are brought to full force of the law despite ordering them to surrender the stolen guns.
The legislators were speaking at a press conference at Parliament Buildings.
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