Kuresoi death toll continues to rise.
ITS SAD AND SICKENING TO SEE THAT KENYANS CONTINUE TO BE MURDERED WITH IMPUNITY AS POLITICIANS FROM BOTH SIDES OF MAJOR PARTIES CAMPAIGN GIVING PROMISES OF SECURITY TO THEIR COMMUNITIES AND KENYANS IN GENERAL.
CHAMA CHA MWANANCHI WISHES TO SEND OUR CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILIES OF THE MURDERED INNOCENT KENYANS IN THE SO- CALLED LAND CLASHES.
WITHOUT APOLOGIES TO ANY AUTHORITIES WE ASK THE GOVERNMENT TO END THE CLASHES NOW BEFORE THE ENTIRE COUNTRY IS TURNED INTO A BATTLE FIELD BY INSENSITIVE POLITICIANS WHOEVER THEY MIGHT BE.
CCM WILL SOON ISSUE A STATEMENT ON THE ABOVE ISSUE. MEANWHILE WE ASK ALL KENYANS TO WATCH THEIR STEPS AND STOP TAKING THE PEACE ENJOYED SINCE KIBAKI TOOK POWER FOR GRANTED. THE OPPOSITION IN TURN SHOULD STOP INCITING KENYANS THROUGH MAJIMBO ADVOCACY. MT. ELGON, KURESOI AND OTHER PARTS MUST BE SAFE FOR EVERYONE.
Now just look at the kind of Kenya Majimbo like rule would bring!
Published on December 4, 2007, 12:00 am
By Standard Team
THE violence-scarred Kuresoi last night degenerated into a humanitarian crisis as hundreds of families fled their homes over the intermittent fighting.
A schoolteacher was killed and police gunned down a suspected raider, taking the death toll to 13.
On Monday, leaders condemned the killings and appealed to the Government to stem the clashes once and for all.
The teacher was hacked to death at Aremi farm near a primary school where he works, only hours after police shot dead a man said to have been part of a gang that had raided Mwahe village and burnt houses.
The gang had earlier raided homes near Keringet Trading Centre and set on fire two vehicles.
Molo Officer Commanding Police Division (OCPD), Mr John Katumo, said the gang was going round villages burning houses when police confronted them.
“We managed to shoot dead one of them, while the others escaped,’’ the OCPD said.
The two vehicles, parked in Mr Daniel Obare’s homestead, were reduced to shells by rioting mobs avenging the attacks.
The month-long Kuresoi violence has spread to Kiptagich, Olenguruone, Muchorwe and Sitoito areas.
On Monday, tension remained high in Olenguruone and Keringet trading centres, where hundreds of people fleeing the violence took refuge.
The Olenguruone District Officer’s office was converted into a refugee camp, with more than 300 families.
Those camping at the DO’s office were employees of Kiptagich Tea Estate, who were forced to flee after being threatened.
“The management of the tea estate told us it was no-longer safe for us to stay after residents issued threats that they would attack the factory and kill all outsiders working there,” said Mr Barnabas Ogege.
The families were spending nights in the cold as the Government dragged its feet to address the escalating violence.
The displaced families have no food, no water, or even blankets to cover them from the biting night cold.
Area DO, Mr Mohammed Ali, said they were organising to transport the families to their native homes.
“We have no option but to ensure that they are returned to their rural homes,” said Ali.
Another group of about 200 displaced persons have sought refuge at the Keringet Police Post.
“We had nowhere else to go. The gang looted our businesses and homes when we fled for our lives,” said Mr Christopher Onditi.
Transport on the Olenguruone-Molo route remained paralysed as matatu operators avoided the area for fear of being attacked.
Late in the evening, armed youth at Muchorwe set on fire a vehicle belonging to a police officer and stoned several other vehicles on the Olenguruone-Molo Road.
Police had to use force to disperse the group, which was protesting against government failure to contain the violence.
Arrests of ‘innocent’ people
They also protested against harassment and arbitrary arrests of innocent members of the public by the police.
On Saturday, a lorry transporting firewood was burnt by youths who barricaded the Olenguruone-Molo road.
Rift Valley Provincial Police Officer, Mr Everett Wasige, Molo DC, Mr Mohamed Salim, and senior government officials toured the clash torn area.
As they pledged to beef up security in Olenguruone and Keringet areas, the gang struck Sitoita village and killed the teacher.
According to villagers, the teacher had gone to check on his brother’s abandoned house following the violence.
“When the gang spotted him, they descended on him with pangas and machetes, killing him on the spot,” said Mr Peter Kimani, a neighbour.
Police removed the body to Molo District Hospital mortuary.
Seven other people attacked in the area were being treated in hospital.
Wasige said they had increased the number of officers and promised to deploy more.
“We are keen to arrest the situation and we urge residents to give security officers time to deal with criminals,” said Wasige.
He said police officers found to be biased when dealing with the security situation would be moved.
But residents continued to flee despite the assurance.
“We will continue to flee until the Government contains the violence,’’ a resident, Mr Michael Mutwol, said.
The violence in Kuresoi erupted a month ago when an angry mob lynched two suspected robbers.
In a revenge attack, members of one community killed two people and burnt several houses.
On Monday, leaders from Kuresoi Constituency condemned the rising violence and appealed for calm among warring communities.
Led by former Internal Security Permanent Secretary, Mr Zakayo Cheruiyot, the leaders called on the Government to stop the killings.
Cheruiyot said the number of security personnel in the area was enough to quell the clashes.
“The killings and the burning of houses have been happening under the full knowledge of the police,” claimed Cheruiyot.
The former PS called for the immediate withdrawal of police officers from the Kalenjin, Kikuyu and Kisii communities deployed in the area, saying some could be taking sides.
“I am calling on the Government to use its machinery to end the clashes and remain more vigilant to ensure that no more violence was meted against the residents of Kuresoi,” he added.
Cheruiyot also appealed to the residents who fled the area to return and called on government to ensure affected groups voted in the December 27 elections.
Reported by Steve Mkawale, Karanja Njoroge and Peter Mutai