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Tension as raiders hit Molo

Publication Date: 10/20/2007

Two people were killed yesterday and 10 houses burnt when heavily armed raiders invaded their homes at Kamwaura farm in Kuresoi, Molo District.

When the Nation team visited the area, tension was still high and hundreds of residents were camping at the nearby Kamwaura trading centre.

The bodies of the two victims, Mr Alex Gachiri and Mr Festus Karanja, were still lying at the nearby Ikumbi dispensary. Five other victims who received minor injuries were treated at the dispensary and discharged.

A woman who broke one of her legs while fleeing from the troubled spot was admitted at the dispensary.

Acting District Commissioner Solomon Abwaka led a security team that toured the area to assess the situation.

Security chiefs

Other senior security chiefs included Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operation in Rift Valley Province, Mr Elphas Kiura, deputy Molo police boss Hesborn Kadenge, District CID chief Geoffrey Gathurima and Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Administration Police Duncan Karanja.

The DC, who addressed the residents at the Kamwaura trading centre, said according to initial investigations from the security personnel on the ground the attacks were not politically instigated.

But the angry residents shouted the DC down forcing him to cut short his speech. They accused the government of laxity and failing to restore lasting peace in the area which has been hit by such clashes in the past.

They said the four police officers at the Kamwaura police post were not enough and more officers should be posted there. 

Learning at Banana, Kamwaura and Boroni primary schools and Kamwaura secondary school was disrupted as the students stayed away fearing more trouble. The most affected were Form Four and Class Eight pupils who were sitting their district mock examinations yesterday in readiness for the national examinations which start next Tuesday.

Residents told the Nation the attackers invaded their homes at about 3.30am and unleashed terror until 5am.

Efforts by two police officers to scare away the raiders by firing in the air failed as the well organised attackers continued with their mission. They robbed the residents of household goods and drove away eight cattle into Tinet Forest.

Ms Ann Njoki, a daughter-in-law of one of the victims, said she heard loud noise outside their homesteads and rushed to hide outside. She heard her father-in-law, Mr Gachiri, pleading with his attackers to spare his life. 

‘‘They never stole anything from our homestead and we wonder what the motive of their attack was,’’ she said.

The attackers after accomplishing their mission moved to the next house from which they dragged Mr Karanja out and hit him with an axe before shooting him with an arrow in the head.

A sister-in-law of Mr Karanja, Ms Mary Wanjiru, said the attackers appeared to know their targets as they torched selected houses belonging to members of a certain community.

Another victim, Ms Fridah Muhonja, said that she lost more than Sh52,000 when her house was torched by the raiders.

Ms Muhonja, the treasurer of Kamwaura Women self help group said she lost all her household belongings and appealed to the government to arrest the attackers to restore peace in the area.

Another victim, Ms Josephine Mokaya whose house was also torched said, ‘‘We hope that what is happening in Sondu will not spill over to Kamwaura as we have suffered for many years.’’


About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.


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