Nyumba Kumi elders in Kilifi threaten to down tools over allowances.

Nyumba Kumi elders in Kilifi threaten to down tools over allowances.

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Nyumba Kumi initiative chairman Joseph Kaguthi at a past function.

Community elders in Kilifi county will stop coordinating local security if they are not considered for basic pay and allowances by the county and national governments, they said on Wednesday.

The elders who met at Mnarani area in Kilifi North, said they were risking their lives ensuring locals were safe, but had been neglected by both governments despite several appeals.

They said they spent their own money to travel and make calls over issues pertaining to local security, money they said was never refunded.

“We demand government intervention on this matter since elders, just as any other person, have demands to meet” Shadrack Jesa, a church and community leader in the area, said.

The elders said the Nyumba Kumi initiative was a noble idea, but would not succeed because government had failed to recognize the elders who were expected to play the biggest and most critical role in the programme.

An official from the Kilifi county government however said it was difficult to recognise the elders because they had been nominated to their positions by an area sub chief, instead of being chosen by community members as required by law.

Government started the Nyumba Kumi initiative in October last year, eyeing to strengthen community policing.

Under the initiative, members of a neighbourhood are expected to know at least 10 of their neighbours in a bid to curb insecurity, especially terrorism.

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