Police in Mwala Sub-county, Machakos County are investigating an in incident in which suspected arsonists torched a lorry over wrangles on sand harvesting.
The truck an Isuzu Double axel registration number KCM 213A, was torched yesterday morning near River Kalenga in Mumbuni village.
According to Mumbuni Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Charles Jura, the driver of the lorry and his loaders managed to escape unscathed from the lorry which was reduced to a charred wreck.
He said Police are currently looking for those behind the incident and to ensure they face the full force of the law.
The administrator has warned area residents against the practice of taking the law into their hands but to be reporting such matters to the law enforcement officers.
“I want to categorically state that the Government will not tolerate unscrupulous traders to come and undertake illegal sand harvesting activities here which are detrimental to the future of this area.
“Nevertheless, we shall likewise not tolerate those who take the law into their hands and destroy other people’s property in the name of fighting crime,” he told the press.
The commissioner has also urged licensed sand harvesters to be accessing the areas set aside for the trade during day time to avoid falling prey to the ire of angry residents.
Last December angry residents from the same area torched two other Lorries after they were allegedly found transporting sand from Nyanyaa River.
The drivers of the two Lorries, however managed to flee from the scene after angry villagers charged at them. The incident sparked heated reaction from residents and local leaders who accused the government of doing little to address the problem.
Mwala/Makutano Ward Representative, Brian Kisila has repeatedly blamed the police for failure to enforce the Sand Harvesting Bill, 2017, which outlaws commercial sand harvesting.
He says some locals have been colluding with rogue police officers to shield illegal sand harvesters.
By Samuel Maina