One person was killed and another one seriously injured on Sunday evening after unknown people sprayed on them bullets at Cheputulel location in Pokot Central sub County of West Pokot County.
The two were on a motorcycle headed for Chesegon area from Lomut trading centre when they were ambushed by bandits suspected to be from a neighbouring county.
Last week a GSU officer was shot dead a few kilometres from yesterday’s incident by bandits suspected to be from the same county leading to the existing tension along the border of West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties.
Confirming the yesterday’s incident, Pokot Central Deputy County Commissioner (DCC), Were Simiyu said the incident occurred at around 4.20pm.
Simiyu said unknown number of armed people believed to be from the neighbouring Sub County shot dead Lotuma Kilimo, 35, the motor cyclist and critically injured his passenger, John Lokoyel , 33.
“Tension is high after the killings but a contingent of security personnel has been deployed to the area to beef up
security and contain the situation as the cause of the incident is yet to be known,” he said.
Local leaders condemned the attacks attributing them to the withdrawal of fire arms by the government from the National Police Reservists (NPR).
They demanded for immediate restoration of the firearms to the NPR, saying the withdrawal had created a lot of fear among the people staying along the border.
“We are saddened and concerned about the increased banditry cases,” the leaders pointed out.
Area governor, John Lonyangapuo demanded an explanation from the Government on the why the guns were withdrawn without a notice.
He further questioned the motive behind the visit by the regional commissioners in Tot area.
“Last week on Friday the Regional Commissioner toured Tot area and up to now I am still wondering of his mission. He could have visited the areas where there are cases of insecurity. We need the insecurity problem addressed, “said Lonyangapuo.
Mark Lomunokol, Kacheliba MP called on the government to provide security to its citizens, saying they will be forced to protect themselves if the government fails to give them security.
“We are not asking but demanding for security in the region. There is no police officer in the area apart from those after Chang’aa raids and those manning road blocks. Matiang’i is always making noise yet he doesn’t understand the problems of pastoralists,” he charged.
Peter Lochakapong, Sigor MP wondered why NPRs on the Pokot side were disarmed while those from the neigbouring communities were still in possession of their fire arms.
“We need the culprits apprehended and at the same time get an explanation from the national government on why NPRs from West Pokot side were disarmed,” said Lochakapong.
The Cheputulel location Chief, Julius Matara said they could not establish the number of assailants as they sprayed bullets while hiding in a thicket.
He added that Kilimo was shot on the chest while Lokoyel had two bullets lodged in his loins.
“The incident happened 200 meters from the anti stock theft camp. Immediately after the shooting police officers responded and repulsed the bandits who disappeared in the bushes,” he said.
The injured was taken to Kapenguria referral Hospital where he is recuperating while the deceased’s body was removed to the same hospital mortuary.
By John Saina