Insecurity appears to be getting out of hand in Vihiga County if events at a recent meeting are anything to go by.
On Friday last week, Sabatia Deputy County Commissioner Abednego Muli shocked residents when he carried an assortment of crude weapons to a public meeting and demonstrated how to use them in self-defence.
During the meeting to install a new chief in Hamuyundi, Mr Muli showed up with a panga, an improvised shield made from worn-out tyres and stones, which he said could be used in the event of an attack.
Earlier the same day, a gang had wiped out a family of four in Busamu village, sending shivers across the region.
Businessman Kennedy Ambani, 40, his wife Elizabeth Achieng, 35, and their two children Gifton Ambani (10) and daughter Ann Ambani, 8, were hacked to death by the gang that also stole chickens.
Earlier the same week, a man and his wife were hacked to death at their home in Matsigulu by a gang that also stole goats and chickens.
Speaking against the backdrop of the brutal attacks and killings, Mr Muli advised that every home should have weapons that members can use to defend themselves before the police arrive, noting that gangsters had no other agenda but to steal, kill and rape.
“Have all these weapons in your houses from today,” he said, adding that they would help in ending crime in the county.
The county chief further advised residents to barricade doors with sofas to keep attackers off their houses.
“Security starts with each one of us. During the night, place barriers such as a sofa against the door to prevent robbers from gaining fast access to your house after breaking the door,” the deputy county commissioner said.
Those in attendance laughed as the county boss demonstrated how to use the weapons, but the matter has put security agencies on the spot.
“We have had cases of insecurity. The problem is people here are too afraid, hence neighbours don’t respond to distress calls,” he said.
Soaring insecurity coupled with attacks, robberies, injuries and murders have become the order of day.
At around the same time last year, the county experienced a wave of insecurity that saw gangs maim and kill.
Security personnel, seemingly overwhelmed by the re-emerging wave of insecurity, are calling on the public to help respond to security issues.
Ironically, the wave of crime comes less than a month after Interior CS Fred Matiang’i visited the county and discussed security matters with senior officials.
During the Friday meeting, senior security officers said they had a list of seven youths who were members of the gang.
The police had earlier warned the gangsters and asked them to surrender.
A few days later, County Commissioner Ochillo Oyugi and County Police Commander Hassan Barua pleaded with the public to help the police in apprehending the suspects.
Despite the assurances by Mr Barua and Mr Oyugi that security agencies had names of the suspects, no arrests have been made yet.