2 killed, houses torched along Kisumu-Kericho Border

Counties Crime Editor's Pick Kericho

Two people have been killed and a house torched in Jimo East Location, Nyakach Sub-County, following clashes between two communities living along the border of Kisumu and Kericho counties.

Nine other people are recuperating at Nyakach-Sub-County Hospital after sustaining spear and arrow injuries in the Saturday night incident.

Several families spent the night in the cold, while others camped at Ndori Primary School after the tension escalated.

According to Samwel Alolo, one of the affected residents, tension started building up on Thursday after a group of youths raided Kasaye village in Jimo East Location of Nyakach and drove off with herds of goats, claiming that one of their cattle had been stolen.

Alolo said efforts to trace the stolen goats, which were driven into the Soin Sigowet area in Kericho County, were met with retaliatory attacks, resulting in the deaths.

He said a group of youths armed with arrows descended on the village, leaving behind a trail of destruction and making off with herds of goats, chickens, and ducks.

Alolo accused the Anti-Stock-Theft Unit police stationed at the border of laxity, saying they have failed to rein in the thugs involved in livestock theft in the area.

He claimed that since January, 48 herds of cattle and over 100 goats have been stolen in the area, with efforts to trace them proving futile.

A contingent of police officers drawn from different units has been deployed in the area to quell tension and restore peace.

Acting Kisumu County Commissioner Hussein Alassow Hussein directed the security officers on both sides of the border to enhance patrols and flush out those involved in the attacks.

He added that the officers have been directed to work hand in hand with the chiefs to trace the stolen animals and ensure they are taken back to their rightful owners.

Hussein, who chaired a security meeting at the border with his counterparts from Kericho County, asked security officers from both sides to work around the clock to ensure that the animals are recovered.

“We are making every effort to ensure that all the goats and cows that have been stolen in this area are recovered. We also want you to produce the one cow stolen from the other side so that we can return it,” he said.

He asked the locals to remain calm, assuring them that the government was doing everything possible to restore peace in the area.

Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o condemned the killings, calling out the government security agencies for failing to contain the tension in the area.

“We condemn in the strongest terms possible the killing of two residents of Nyakach. These people did not deserve to die over conflicts that could be resolved through dialogue,” he said.

In a statement to the media, Nyong’o turned the blame on local security agencies for their failure to detect the looming fights.

“The national government must have received some intelligence about the looming fights and should have nipped it in the bud,” he said.

He added that the anti-stock theft police stationed at the border must come out clearly and explain why they have not rounded up criminals involved in stock theft.

Nyong’o further asked the national Cohesion and Integration Commission to move with speed and restore peace in the area with a view to finding a long-lasting solution to the perennial conflict.

He said leaders from Kisumu were telling their people to remain calm and embrace peace and cohesion, urging their counterparts from Kericho County to follow suit.

“The fights along our borders must stop. Let there be no more deaths, injuries, or destruction of property,” he said.

Kisumu Deputy Governor Dr. Mathew Owili said the county government would open up roads in the hilly sub-county as a long-term measure to enhance security.

He added that the county governments would waive mortuary fees and hospital bills for the deceased and those injured in the deadly attacks.

By Chris Mahandara

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