A section of herders in Masol area of West Pokot County claim police killed their 119 heads of cattle.
The herders say they lost their animals to police bullets shortly after leaving the grazing fields of Masol on Friday.
According to the victims, they suspect that the police thought the herd was made up of livestock stolen by bandits from a village in the area.
Police have in the past resorted to such tactics to discourage the practice of cattle rustling in the area.
The latest incident happened on Friday afternoon as a group of herders was en route to Masol from the grazing fields in Kadeng’oi.
They claim police officers who lay an ambush opened fire on the animals killing 119.
Others were injured.
The herders want the Ministry of Interior to investigate the case.
They also want Independent Policing Oversight.
Authority (IPOA) to ensure the culprits are brought to the book.
West Pokot Governor Simon Kachapin condemned the incident.
“These herders are counting losses. The times of collective punishment are long gone,” he said.
Sigor MP Peter Lochakapong said they are saddened by the incident.
He said they will investigate the incident and take action.
Pokot South MP David Pkosing said the latest incident shows insensitivity from the government to the locals.
“The government is supposed to protect its own people and their property but killed those animals. The Pokot have suffered close to between Sh10 million to Sh15 million,” he said.
Turkana South Ssub-county Police Commander William Adenyo says investigations have since been launched into the incident.
He discouraged cattle rustling terming it criminal and outdated.
Multi-agency teams are in the area for an operation against cattle rustling.
Up to 279 people were killed in different cattle rustling-related incidents in the country in 2022.
A police report indicates 32 police officers were also killed in the incidents.
Further thousands of animals were stolen and either sold off or traded for cultural events.
And as part of efforts to address the menace, a new commander for the National Police Reservists was last week named in fresh efforts to revamp the unit and bolster operations in cattle rustling-prone areas.
Former Eastern Regional Police Commander Ronald Opili was tasked to take over the new unit consisting of more than 10,000 personnel.
The NPR formerly known as Kenya Police Reserve (KPR) was formed in 1948 to assist the regular police in the maintenance of law and order.
They only exist in arid and semi-arid rural areas of Kenya, particularly in Northern Kenya.
The military has actively joined in fresh measures to contain the menace of cattle rustling in parts of northern Kenya.